NZ man, brains behind global botnet

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NZ man, brains behind global botnet

The mastermind behind the 2006 DDoS attack on the Philadelphia University which infected 50,000 computers has been identified as an 18-year-old New Zealand man, nicknamed ‘AKILL’.

According to reports, the 18-year-old allegedly designed a unique virus that utilised encryption and was undetectable by anti-virus software to install botnets on vulnerable PCs.

Furthermore, he is also alleged to be responsible for an elite botnet group called the 'A-Team' which comprised of people from the United States and abroad.

Detective Inspector Peter Devoy, Waikato Crime Services Manager said the man is being interviewed as part of an investigation involving the NZ Police, FBI and Dutch authorities into cyber-crime.

It is alleged 'AKILL' was a co-conspirator behind the attack.

According to New Zealand Police, the 2006 DDoS attack was reported to the Philadelphia office of the FBI who launched an investigation which led the FBI to a US national, who, using unauthorised account access upgraded the botnet from the university server for his New Zealand based co-conspirator.

The pair used malware files to infect and control about 50,000 computers causing the server to crash, which denied computer access to the university's 4000 students, staff and faculty members.

"This programme was viewed by the FBI as being very sophisticated malware," Devoy said.

In a separate investigation with the Dutch Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority, Police established 'AKILL' was involved with an adware scheme alleged to have infected 1.3 million computers.

"This is a relatively new type of crime that will only become more evident as time goes by and we've had to adapt to meet the new challenge," Devoy said.
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