Sophos assists computer crime unit in a botnet master case

Sophos assisted the Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit in bringing a case against Robert Matthew Bentley.  The hacker, of Panama City, Florida, who went by the alias ‘LSDigital’, had previously pleaded guilty to charges relating to botnet activities and has been sentenced by prosecutors in Pensacole, Florida, to 41 months behind bars and fined USD 65,000.

The Metropolitan Police Computer Crime Unit first brought Bentley’s illegal activities to light when investigating complaints of suspicious activity from Newell Rubbermaid.  The corporation, which counts popular stationery brands Parker and Papermate among its portfolio, had been targeted by Bentley’s botnet operation which turned PCs into zombies, bringing so much traffic to the company’s website that it ground to a halt.  Bentley and his associates generated thousands of dollars by hijacking PCs and using them to display adverts.

In December 2006, the Computer Crime Unit worked with Sophos and the US Secret Service to identify Bentley as the person responsible, with other unidentified conspirators, for infecting a company’s network of computers in Europe with adware.  Bentley received payment through a Dutch-based operation called Dollar Revenue for these malicious hacks and the placement of adverts.  Computers in Florida were used to commit the offences between October 2005 and November 2006.

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