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Monday, February 13, 2006

Botnet Attack Shuts Down Hospital Network

One day last year, things started going haywire at Northwest Hospital and Medical Center.
Key cards would no longer open the operating-room doors; computers in the intensive-care unit shut down; doctors' pagers wouldn't work.
This might have been just another computer-virus attack, a common and malicious scheme that sometimes is done for little more than bragging rights. But federal officials say it was something far more insidious.
It turns out the Seattle hospital's computers — along with up to 50,000 others across the country — had been turned into an army of robots controlled by 20-year-old Christopher Maxwell of Vacaville, Calif., according to a federal indictment issued Thursday. And Maxwell, along with two juveniles, earned about $100,000 in the process, court documents state.
The trio had created a "botnet," a phenomenon that is on the cutting edge of computer crime, federal officials say.
"Their goal was as old as fraud itself," Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn

Christopher Maxwell is now facing felony conspiracy charges after unleashing a botnet attack that shut down the network of a Seattle hospital intensive care unit. This indictment comes a few weeks after another California man pled guilty to similar charges. Both attacks were attempts to make money off of adware affiliate programs

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