Federal prosecutors have accused a man of carrying out a series of botnet offenses including attacks that brought down the websites of conservative talking heads Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Rudolph Giuliani.
Mitchell L Frost was an undergraduate student at the University of Akron at the time of the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which lasted over a five-day period in March 2008, prosecutors alleged in court documents. The attacks on billoreilly.com, anncoulter.com and joinrudy2008.com "rendered each website inoperable, at least temporarily, and required intervention and repair by the owners of such sites, and caused damages or losses which exceeded $5,000," they wrote.
Frost, who went by the handle "FrostAie," also stands accused of using his botnet to launch a much bigger assault on a University of Akron server that knocked out the college's entire network, depriving "tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff members" of connectivity for more than eight hours. Prosecutors said the attack appeared to be a mistake and that the intended target was an unnamed gaming server that was hosted on the university network.
The outage cost the university more than $10,000.
Prosecutors also accuse Frost of using his botnet to steal credit card information. When agents raided Frost's dorm room on March 28 2008, they allegedly retrieved almost 3,000 stolen login credentials, and 136 pieces of data for compromising card accounts.
He was charged with one count each of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer and possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices. Court records indicate he has not yet made a court appearance. ®