Computer criminal sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for renting botnet

We’ve spoken many, many times about botnets and the many uses cyber criminals have for them and try to make the discussions as realistic as possible but it’s always good to hear an instance where it’s happening in ‘real life’.  According to this article at the BBC, that’s exactly what happened with Joshua Schichtel of Phoenix, Arizona.  Schichtel was convicted of renting his botnet of 72,000 computers for $1,500 to an unnamed buyer.  There’s additional information in the article.  Suffice it to say, just because you don’t ‘do your banking online’, that doesn’t mean that your computer isn’t a target.  Update.  Have good antivirus.  Update.  Don’t do stupid things.  Update.  Then, update.

In a brief statement about the case, the US Department of Justice said Schichtel pleaded guilty to one count of selling access to 72,000 machines that formed part of a bigger botnet he controlled.”