By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
28th April 2010
A Texas man has agreed to plead guilty to charges he trained a botnet on
a popular internet service provider so he could demonstrate custom-made
malware to a potential customer.
David Anthony Edwards of Mesquite, Texas admitted that in August 2006 he
and alleged accomplice Thomas James Frederick Smith unleashed a flood of
data on ThePlanet.com to demonstrate the effectiveness of bot software
they called Nettick, according to court documents. The men allegedly
told one purchaser they had 22,000 zombie machines under their control
and would sell them for 15 cents apiece in minimum batches of 5,000.
Smith, most recently of Parris Island, South Carolina, has pleaded not
guilty to the charges. A trial is scheduled to begin May 17.
In a plea agreement signed by Edwards, he also said that he and Smith
breached servers operated by webhost, T35.net. They then extracted
password files and made hundreds of thousands of user IDs and access
codes available online, the document, filed in US District Court in
Dallas, stated. The pair went on to deface the website, Edwards added.
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