Arrested Dutch hackers now facing trial
January 17, 2007
It is largely reported that Dutch authorities are seeking jail terms of up to three years for two hackers and botnet operators alleged to have commanded a network of more than 1.5 million computers. The male suspects, aged 20 and 29, are both accused of developing two viruses that were set free on the Internet in June 2005.
Overall, the Toxbot virus was used to recruit a worldwide network of zombie computers on which the pair installed adware, while 'Wayphisher' was used to steal credit card information and account information for online banks and financial institutions.
The operation netted an estimated €60,000 over a period of six months. The Dutch Public Attorney is seeking a three-year jail term for the 20 year-old, and a two-year term for the 29 year-old. Both men have consistently denied all charges, according to local media reports.
Evidence has been gathered from PCs owned by the accused, along with witness statements and wire taps on the suspects' Internet connections and phones. Dutch authorities do not generally release the identity of suspects.
Additionally, four more individuals are awaiting trial in the same case, including the 22 year-old alleged ring-leader.
This man is also facing charges from the FBI for launching a DoS (denial of service) attack against the Zango adware network.
He is believed to have undertaken the attack in retaliation for the company's refusal to pay affiliate fees for the adware installations on the computers that were under the group's control.
Zango filed a legal complaint against the man for violating its policies, but has since dropped the charges to allow the FBI's case to advance.
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