Ian Bach

Viewing conflicts through the eye of Counterinsurgency COIN – Since 2007

FBI catches three bot herders – but nets remain

By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

An FBI operation against cybercrime has identified more than 1 million hijacked personal computers and led to the arrest of three men on charges ranging from spamming to infecting IT systems at hospitals.

The FBI’s “Operation Bot Roast” anti-botnet sweep is an ongoing effort to disrupt the bot trade and identify botnet controllers, the law enforcement agency said.

“Bot” is the term for an infected personal computer. A “botnet” is a large number of hijacked PCs controlled by a hacker, called a “bot herder.” Botnets are used by spammers, criminals launching distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and malware authors looking to spread their applications.

“The majority of victims are not even aware that their computer has been compromised or their personal information exploited,” James Finch, FBI assistant director for the cyber division, said in a statement.

With the help of the CERT Coordination Centre at Carnegie Mellon University, the FBI is also trying to notify the owners of the million-plus infected computers. “Through this process, the FBI may uncover additional incidents in which botnets have been used to facilitate other criminal activity,” the agency said.

That’s exactly how authorities uncovered bots controlled by the three men recently arrested, including longtime spam king Robert Soloway in Seattle last month. Besides Soloway, prosecutors have charged James Brewer and Jason Downey.

According to indictment papers filed yesterday in court, Brewer compromised more than 10,000 computers worldwide, including machines at two area hospitals, between October and December 2006.

“The ‘bots’ caused the infected computers to, among other things, repeatedly freeze or reboot, causing significant delays in the provision of medical services,” the indictment states. It took the hospitals more than 1,000 man-hours to clean up after the infections.

Downey, meanwhile, was charged two weeks ago with running a botnet that conducted DDoS attacks using an IRC (Internet relay chat) server called Yotta-Byte.net. Last year, that server was one of several that anti virus company Sophos linked with ongoing attacks by the Agobot worm.


About Ian Bach

Independent Online Terrorist Hunter I teach people how to hunt down and shut down the Bad guys web sites. I also teach about the various countries and cultures. Like most cases it is a small group of bsd eggs that in this case call themselves Muslims but in actual fact they are more like how KKK call themselves ",True Christisians". But in both cases / groups they preach a perverted and twisted view a religion. In the case of ISIS, all Qaeda, al Nusra, and the rest of the terrorists who claim to be true Muslims most of these groups follow the Wahhabi teachings. They are almost all Sunni and their goal is global domination. Yet they must be very bad at math and history. Since most Muslims prefer a separation of church and state and also mist are against Shari's Law. Esp the twisted and overly exaggerated form of Sharia Law that the Wahhabi and other bad guys use. I have studied terrorism, insurgencies, and the best tried and proven methods that work to fight terrorism. My Blogs have many links and articles that can show you who are the best and most knowledgeable people in the fields or counterinsurgency and counter terrorism. When I find great practitioner's I always listen to them to find out who they learned from and who they respect and admire. Thus I am always learning new stuff from the best and most successful in their fields of knoeledge. I strive to be an open and ethical source of information, I have met many awesome, kind, caring, and loving wonderful people many who I am close friends with now from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and many from S.E. Asia which also has a high percent of their populations that are Muslim.We must always strive to be aware people are not any one particular religion via that's what they chose to be, instead most people are a particular religion because that's what their parents and/or county is. I was raised Catholic but because I became Interested in magic ,(illusion - smoke n mirrors) and science which lead me to study many religions, and I would call myself an atheist. Yet sometimes when I lose my keys ZI find myself praying "Hail Marys" and a few "Our Fathers" which most always aides me in finding my keys. My belief is that if I just frantically look around for my krys, good luck it takes me for ever. But by saying these prayers it is like s sort of meditation and my mind becomes more calm, which is why it helps my find my keys.

2 comments on “FBI catches three bot herders – but nets remain

  1. Ian Bach
    June 15, 2007

    “Spam king” arrested
    Seattle man also charged with selling faulty software
    By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service


    A Seattle man authorities describe as a “spam king” has been arrested for alleged illegal spamming.

    The indictment charges Robert Alan Soloway and his company, Newport Internet Marketing, with fraudulently selling broadcast email products and services that amounted to spam.

    A US attorney’s office in Washington state refers to Soloway as a “spam king,” for the volume of unsolicited commercial email his company produced. He is charged with mail fraud, identity theft, fraud and money laundering,

    The arrest follows his indictment by a federal grand jury in Seattle last week.

    Soloway advertised a mass email service that sent messages to an opt-in list of addresses, but didn’t actually get permission from the people on the list, the indictment said. He also sold software that customers could use to send out mass emails. However, the product often didn’t work and if it did, it sent emails using forged headers. He also failed to offer promised support services, according to the court documents.

    In addition, when customers complained, Soloway threatened additional fees and referral to a collection agency, according to prosecutors.

    Soloway is accused of sending out tens of millions of emails, often using forged source addresses and domains, advertising his services. As a result, some people who legitimately owned the email address or domain were blamed for the spam and blacklisted by ISPs.

    The indictment also said that Soloway used programs and many different proxy computers in an effort to hide the source of the messages.

    Soloway conducted the spamming activities at least from late 2003 through early this year, the indictment said.

    If convicted, Soloway faces fines of over $772,000, which is the amount he allegedly obtained from his activities, as well as forfeiture of other money and property.


  2. Soldier's wife
    June 15, 2007

    And people ask why I don’t give out personal information! Thanks for posting this. People need to be aware that this happens everyday. Need to be careful who you e-mail or instant message. I only do that with family and personal friends that I know. It is sad that a few people have made it unsafe to put too much of yourself out there for internet friends, but you never truly know who they are either, no matter how often you talk or chat with them. People are whoever they choose to be on here. I’m happy to see you are making people more aware of that. I prefer to think that people are good by nature but not naive enough to believe there are no bad out there. Caustiously optimistic. Lol.


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This entry was posted on June 15, 2007 by in Uncategorized.
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