eBay Hacker Pleads Guilty

An Oregon-based man has pleaded guilty to using a computer worm to launch attacks against Internet auction site eBay.

Anthony Scott Clark (21) admitted to “intentionally damaging a protected computer,” a crime for which he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison plus a fine of up to twice any losses incurred, as per the US Attorney for the northern district of California.

Reportedly in July and August 2003, Clark and his accomplices infected around 20,000 computers with a worm, which in turn allowed them to direct the machines to eBay.com and other Web sites.

Apparently Clark and team used a worm which exploited a vulnerability in the Windows operating system to gain control of the computers and then knock eBay and other sites offline, through DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks.

The “bots” were directed to a password-protected Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server, where they connected, logged-in, and waited for further instructions. Chris Donlay, spokes-person, eBay, said that this case is sure to send out a clear message that the Web site takes protection issues very seriously, and will pursue anyone who attempts to do this kind of thing.

According to official sources, the damages are estimated to be huge, and a judge will decide on the exact amount during Clark’s sentence hearing in April 2006.


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