Jeanson James Ancheta

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Jeanson James Ancheta
Born1985 (age 33–34)
Conviction(s)Pleaded guilty to four felony charges
Criminal penalty5 years in prison

On May 9, 2006, Jeanson James Ancheta (born 1985) became the first person to be charged for controlling large numbers of hijacked computers or botnets.[1][2]


Ancheta was going to Downey High School in Downey, California until 2001 when he dropped out of school.[3] He later entered an alternative program for students with academic or behavioral problems.[3] He worked at an Internet cafe and according to his family wanted to join the military reserves. Around June 2004 he started to work with botnets after discovering rxbot, a common computer worm that could spread his net of infected computers.


Botnet is a jargon term for a collection of software robots, or "bots", that run autonomously and automatically.

He hijacked somewhere in the area of half a million computer systems. This not only affected computers like the one in your home, but it allowed him and others to orchestrate large-scale attacks.

— US attorney's office in Los Angeles, Thom Mrozek[1]

Arrest and sentence[edit]

In November 2005 he was captured in an elaborate sting operation when FBI agents lured him to their local office on the pretext of collecting computer equipment.[4] The arrest was part of the Operation: Bot Roast.[5]

On May 9, 2006 Ancheta pleaded guilty to four felony charges of violating United States Code Section 1030, Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Computers, specifically subsections (a)(5)(A)(i), 1030 (a)(5)(B)(i), and 1030(b).[6] Ancheta must serve 60 months in prison, forfeit a 1993 BMW and more than $58,000 in profit. He must also pay restitution of $15,000 US to the U.S. federal government for infecting the military computers.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "American owns up to hijacking PCs". BBC News. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  2. ^ By Holden Frith and AP (January 24, 2006). "Hacker pleads guilty to building 'botnet' army". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2008-09-26. In the first case of its kind, Jeanson James Ancheta, of Downey, California, pleaded guilty in a Los Angeles court to four charges, including infecting machines at the China Lake Naval Air Facility in California and the Defence Information System Agency, in Falls Church, Virginia.
  3. ^ a b Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz (2006-04-23). "Malicious-software spreaders get sneakier, more prevalent". usatoday. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  4. ^ Iain Thomson (2005-11-04). "FBI sting nets botnet hacker". Archived from the original on 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  5. ^ Dan Goodin (13 June 2007). "FBI logs its millionth zombie address". the register. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
  6. ^ Robert Vamosi (January 27, 2006). "Cybercrime does pay; here's how". CNET Reviews. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  7. ^ "Zombie master Jeanson Ancheta pleads guilty". spamdailynews. January 23, 2006. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11.

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