FBI Arrests Penn Junior in Hacker Sting

Part of worldwide police moves against Kiwi 'botnet' scheme
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 6:22 PM CST
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(Newser) – A junior at the University of Pennsylvania hijacked and crashed a school server as part of a New Zealand hacker's plan to take over multiple online chat sites, an FBI indictment said today. The arrest of Ryan Goldstein, 21, was part of a number of cases in an FBI operation focused on hackers who used “botnets,” centrally controlled clusters of computers enslaved to serve cyber-nefarious purposes.

Goldstein, using the handle "Digerati," participated in the scheme to get revenge on chat sites that had snubbed him, the FBI alleges. "They view it like a computer game without appreciating that it has real-world impact,” said Assistant US attorney Michael Levy. Goldstein has pleaded not guilty and could face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.