Computer Crime Research Center


Hacker botnets attack!!!

Date: May 11, 2006

Christopher Maxwell will have to pay more than $252,000 in restitution to a hospital and the Department of Defense for his role in attacking thousands of computers with a botnet that installed adware on target machines.

A number of those machines belonged to Northwest Hospital and Medical Center in north Seattle. Although AP reported patient care was not jeopardized due to the presence of backup systems, the attacks caused several other problems.

The attacks did affect computers in the hospital's intensive care unit, and also disrupted physicians' pagers as well as prevented doors to operating suites from opening.

"Creating a zombie network, or botnet, isn't a harmless game. In this case a hospital network was affected, and patients' welfare could have been put at risk through the stupidity of the hackers," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

The attacks also hit hardware at the Headquarters 5th Signal Command in Manheim, Germany, and at the Directorate of Information Management in Fort Carson, Colorado.
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