By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
23rd January 2009
An American security consultant who stole hundreds of thousands of
online bank passwords by employing a massive botnet that he often
administered from work deserves at least five years in prison,
prosecutors have told a federal judge.
The request for a minimum 60-month sentence, followed by five years of
supervised release, came in the case of John Kenneth Schiefer of Los
Angeles, who in November of 2007 admitted he was the hacker known
alternately as Acid and Acidstorm and wielded a 250,000-strong bot army.
Prosecutors rejected Schiefer's arguments that he should be allowed to
continue working as a security consultant, saying the stiff penalty was
justified by the extreme callousness and brazenness of his offenses.
"The widespread, pernicious, and malicious manner in which this crime
occurred favors a lengthy custodial sentence," prosecutors wrote in
court documents filed earlier this month. "Defendant nonetheless offers
his own self-serving claim that his malicious software did not damage
the computers that he infected. Defendant should not be believed."
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