Slovenian hacker gets jail for writing malware behind global botnet

Dec. 24, 2013 at 3:47 PM

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A Slovenian hacker accused of being behind a botnet that hijacked about 12.7 million computers around the world has been sentenced to 5 years in jail.

A court in Slovenia found Matjaz Skorjanc, 27, who was arrested in 2010 after a two-year investigation, guilty of creating the Mariposa botnet software, assisting others in "wrongdoings" and money laundering, the BBC reported Tuesday.

In addition to the jail term, Skorjanc was also ordered to pay a $4,100 fine and surrender an apartment and car he was alleged to have purchased with money from a Spanish criminal syndicate.

The botnet was dubbed Mariposa -- Spanish for butterfly -- because it was created by software allegedly written by Skorjanc called ButterFly Flooder.

The software was advertised for sale on the Internet with the claim it could perform "stress tests" on computer networks and provide a method of remotely controlling Windows and Linux PCs.

Investigators said the malware was spread globally and used to send spam emails, stage distributed denial of service attacks to overwhelm targets' servers and harvest information including credit card details and log-ins.

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