A NYC Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Botnet-Related Fraud
A botnet is a network of computers which have been taken over, unbeknownst to the computer owners. Botnets are used for a variety of malicious purposes, including denial of service attacks which take down websites; sending spam; and obtaining information. Botnets are typically installed through the use of Malware and it takes sophisticated coding and computer knowledge to create the malware and to operate a botnet.
It is also a serious crime to create or distribute malware and to unlawfully access and use computers. You can be charged with a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is a federal law codified in 18 U.S. Code Section 1030. You can also be charged with other state or federal criminal offenses. It is common for defendants who run botnets or who participate in botnet-related fraud to face multiple counts of criminal charges because many computers are infected and because there are many instances of sending spam or accessing information unlawfully.
Defendants need a vigorous defense to avoid very serious penalties. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation to those accused of botnet-related fraud other other computer crimes. We understand the technical aspects of computer fraud offenses as well as the laws designed to impose penalties and we will work hard to raise a vigorous defense aimed at keeping you out of prison or reducing the penalties you face.
How Does Botnet-Related Fraud Work?
Botnets are created when many computers are infected with malware. Bots search for vulnerable computers to infect and are put onto computers through hacking or through backdoors. It is also common for botnets to be installed in trojan horses, which are software programs or other downloads which appear to be useful but which actually contain malware. A computer user may download a file or click on an email link which appears to be harmless and unknowingly install software on his or her computer which gives control to a botmaster.
A botmaster is the person who uses the malware to access all of the different computers. Rather than having to individually access each particular computer, all of the hundreds or thousands of infected computers can be used at once. With control of the computer, the botmaster can:
- Send out spam, viruses, and spyware to thousands or millions of other computers in order to grow the bot network, to obtain information from the computers, or to otherwise engage in unlawful actions.
- Obtain personal and private information, including passwords, login information, and financial information. This can be used in identity theft and credit card fraud crimes. Botmasters sometimes sell the information obtained, rather than using it themselves.
- Perpetrate a denial of service (DoS) attack. This is sometimes done to extort money from the owners of websites.
- Click fraud. The computers are used to boost website advertising billings by automatically clicking on ads on the Internet.
These are just some of many examples of how a network of infected computers (a botnet) can be used. Defendants can face charges both for the creation and distribution of the malware, for the unauthorized access to computers, and for any unlawful activities which follow.
How Can a New York City Computer Crimes Lawyer Help You?
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience representing clients accused of cybercrimes. When you are charged with any offenses related to computer and Internet fraud or computer tampering, our legal team has unparalleled knowledge of these highly technical offenses. We have represented some of the world’s most notorious spammers, hackers, and other computer criminals and we have successfully helped many defendants to reduce penalties or entirely avoid conviction. Give us a call as soon as possible to learn more about how we can use our extensive legal knowledge to assist you.