Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Hackers Admit to Wave of Attacks

Filed under
Legal

An Ohio computer hacker who served as a digital button man for a shady internet hosting company faces prison time after admitting he carried out one of a series of crippling denial-of-service attacks ordered by a wealthy businessman against his competitors.

In a deal with prosecutors, Richard "Krashed" Roby, 20, pleaded guilty in federal court in Toledo last month to intentionally damaging a protected computer, after launching a 2003 attack on an online satellite TV retailer that caused at least $120,000 in losses.

Jay Echouafni, the 38-year-old satellite TV mogul who allegedly ordered and funded the cyberhits, went on the lam last year, and remains a fugitive from a federal indictment out of Los Angeles.

In a related deal, 31-year-old Paul Ashley, former operator of the Foonet hosting service, admitted to recruiting three other computer intruders to carry out Echouafni's orders.

Until it was shuttered by an FBI raid last year, Ashley ran Foonet from a basement server room in his suburban Ohio home. The enterprise enjoyed a double-edged reputation for providing hosting that could stand up to distributed denial of service, or DDOS, attacks, even as it gave safe harbor to members of the computer underground drawn to the bulletproof service.

"Every script kiddy on IRC had a shell there," says Andrew Kirch, a security administrator for the Abusive Hosts Blocking List. "Spamming, hacking, phishing, DDOS networks -- you want to run scans for a large amount of IP space for prevalent Windows vulnerabilities? Set up there."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

U.S. government releases open source gamification software

The United States' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made some of its internally-developed gamification software available for free on GitHub under the MIT free software license. Developers may find it useful as a tool for configuring a server to track "gamification" systems like points or badges against user accounts on apps or websites; at the very least, it offers interesting insight into how the NGA is using game design tenets in its training programs. Read more

Let's Pay for Open Source with a Closed-Source Software Levy

This column has often explored ways in which some of the key ideas underlying free software and open source are being applied in other fields. But that equivalence can flow in both directions: developments in fields outside the digital world may well have useful lessons for computing. A case in point is a fascinating post by James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a non-governmental organisation concerned with public health and other important issues. It is called "The value of an open source dividend", and is a discussion of the problems the world of pharma faces because of the distorting effect of patents - problems it shares with the world of computing... Read more

Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel

With Linux 3.18-rc1 arriving one week early I didn't have a chance to write a feature overview of Linux 3.18 prior to this first development release that marked the close of the merge window. For those that didn't stay up to date with our dozens of Linux 3.18 kernel articles about changes and new features, here's a concise overview. Read more

Norway closes its open source resource centre

The government of Norway will no longer fund its open source resource centre, Friprog. Activities are wound down and the centre will be closed at the end of the year, Friprog reports. The GoOpen conference, planned for last September but postponed to May 2015, is now cancelled. Read more