Bizarre tale behind conviction for botnet initiated DDoS attack

In a curious twist of fate, a man who refused to continue his collaboration with a group who’s goal was to unmask pedophiles because he was concerned that their methods were starting to break laws, has been found guilty of launching a DDoS attack with a botnet he assembled by himself.

The target of his attacks were websites on which certain photos of him and his email correspondence with a fictitious woman names Holly were published.

“Holly” was a product of the imagination of Xavier Von Erck, the founder of the aforementioned group who’s members were posing as minors in chatrooms so that they could unmask pedophiles. The group even used to work with an NBC show called “To Catch a Predator.”

According to Graham Cluley, after the fallout with the group Bruce Raisley (the accused programmer) was targeted by Von Erck, who decided to get his revenge by embarrassing him. So, he posed as “Holly” and started an Internet relationship with Raisley. After being sure that the programmer fell for “her”, “Holly” asked him to leave his wife and meet her at the airport.

He did so, and while he waited in vain with a bunch of flowers in his hand, photos were taken by a hired photographer. Von Erck then posted the photos and the emails on a website, and this unusual story got picked up by the likes of Radar Magazine and Rolling Stone.

Understandably upset and wanting to remove any trace of it from the Internet, Raisley wrote a computer virus that ensnared some 100,000 computers around the world into a botnet under his command, and started bombarding sites that had published the story with a huge amount of bogus requests that made them crash.

At the end of a short trial, Raisley was found guilty of distributing a malicious computer program and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

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