Operation: Bot Roast
Operation: Bot Roast is an operation by the FBI to track down bot herders, crackers, or virus coders who install malicious software on computers through the Internet without the owners’ knowledge, which turns the computer into a zombie computer that then sends out spam to other computers from the compromised computer, making a botnet or network of bot infected computers. The operation was launched because the vast scale of botnet resources poses a threat to national security.
The operation was created to disrupt and disassemble bot herders. In June 2007, the FBI had identified about 1 million computers that were compromised, leading to the arrest of the persons responsible for creating the malware. In the process, owners of infected computers were notified, many of whom were unaware of the exploitation.
Some early results of the operation include charges against the following:
- Robert Alan Soloway of Seattle, Washington, pleaded guilty to charges of using botnets to send tens of millions of spam messages touting his website.
- Jeanson James Ancheta plead guilty to controlling thousands of infected computers.
- Jason Michael Downey (pseudonym "Nessun"), founder of the IRC network Rizon, is charged with using botnets to disable other systems.
- Akbot author Owen Walker (pseudonym "AKILL") of New Zealand, was tried for various crimes and discharged by the prosecution in 2008.
- "OPERATION: BOT ROAST 'Bot-herders' Charged as Part of Initiative" (Press release). Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "FBI tries to fight zombie hordes" (Press release). BBC News. 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- Dan Goodin (13 June 2007). "FBI logs its millionth zombie address". the register. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Akill pleads guilty to all charges Archived 11 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, By Ulrika Hedquist, 1 April 2008, Computerworld