Teen Pleads Guilty in Botnet Adware Scheme

Used IRCBots to profit off of online advertising contracts
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 1:28 PM CST
Before being arrested, court documents reveal the pair had conversations expressing skepticism that it was unlikely that "feds [would] bust in someones (sic) door for irc bots etc. lol," or other potential...   (Shutterstock.com)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A teenager referred to by the FBI as BDH and known online as “Sobe” pleaded guilty to two counts of juvenile fraud conspiracy for a scheme that used botnets to install adware on hundreds of thousands of American computers, including some military systems. He will be sentenced May 5, and will receive between 1 year and 18 months in prison under a plea bargain, Computerworld reports.

Sobe, and his 21-year-old accomplice, obtained legitimate contracts from online advertising companies to install adware, rewriting the code so installation wouldn’t require the user’s consent. They then used botnets to “enslave” thousands of PCs at a time, and directed the slave computers to servers containing their modified adware—after which they sought financial recompense from the online advertisers. The scheme netted $107,000.