Hacker Jailed For Ddos Attack That Affected Three Million Internet Users, Reports Sophos

Experts at SophosLabs, Sophos’s global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centres, have welcomed news that a hacker who stopped more than three million Spanish computer users from using the internet has been sentenced to two years in jail.

26-year-old Santiago Garrido used a computer worm to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks after he was expelled from the popular “Hispano” IRC chat room for disobeying its rules. The attacks disrupted an estimated three million users of the Wanadoo, ONO, Lleida Net and other internet service providers, amounting to one third of all of Spain’s internet users at the time of the offence in 2003.

Garrido, who went by the aliases “Ronnie” and “Mike25”, was sentenced at a court in La Coru?a and also faces a 1.4 million Euros fine.

“Many times hackers use DDoS techniques to try and blackmail the website under attack. On this occasion, it seems the hacker was so furious about being thrown out of a chat room that he resorted to a criminal act to wreak his revenge, affecting millions of internet users in the process,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “This type of activity causes serious damage and disruption, and any hackers engaged in such behaviour must be punished accordingly. The Spanish Civil Guard should be congratulated for seeing this case through to its conclusion.”

SophosLabs estimates that more than 60 percent of all spam today originates from zombie computers, which can be used by criminal hackers to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks, spread unwanted email messages or to steal confidential information. In May 2005, the Sober-Q Trojan horse and Sober-N worm worked in tandem to infect and hijack computers around the world, programming them to spew out German nationalistic spam during an election.

Sophos continues to recommend that computer users ensure their anti-virus software is up-to-date, and that companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend them against the threat of computer hijacking.

About Sophos
Sophos is a world leader in integrated threat management solutions, developing protection against viruses, spyware, spam and policy abuse for business, education and government. Sophos’s reliably-engineered, easy-to-operate products protect more than 35 million users in more than 150 countries. Through 20 years’ experience and a global network of threat analysis centers, the company responds rapidly to emerging threats – no matter how complex – and achieves the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the industry.

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