Tech trials and tribulations
Thirty-year-old Joshua Schichtel, pleaded guilty to selling access to his botnet, which was comprised of over 72,000 PCS that he had taken control of by using computer viruses. It is not known at this stage how many customers used Schichtel's botnet but the US Department Of Justice stated that one customer paid the hacker a fee of $1,500 to install malware on 72,000 machines.
"Individuals who wanted to infect computers with various different types of malicious software (malware) would contact Schichtel and pay him to install, or have installed, malware on the computers that comprised those botnets," the Department of Justice said in a statement.
After serving his 30 month sentence, Schichtel will have to serve a further three-year period in a supervised release programme. During this tim, his supervision will tightly controlled, as will his access to computers and the internet.
Schichtel, it appears, has a history of hacking. According to a story published on the BBC's website, he was part of a group of four men accused in 2004 of using botnets to carry out attacks on websites.