Zombie Master Zapped

The LA Times reported yesterday that John Kenneth Schiefer, a 26-year-old computer security consultant from LA, admitted to hacking into a host of personal computers "to create a rogue network of as many as a quarter-million PCs, which he used to steal money and identities."

Schiefer used botnets to steal "user names and passwords for EBay Inc.'s PayPal online payment service to make unauthorized purchases. He also passed the stolen account information on to others." He faces up to 60 years in prison and a $1.75-million fine.

It is bad enough that one has to guard against outside hackers - having to worry about IT security folks burning you from the inside just adds to irritation. If we need to hire someone to watch over the IT security personnel, do we need someone to watch over this person as well? And how many watch-watchers are sufficient?

Hmm, sounds like it may be time to revisit the classic cat and rat problem.


Risk Factor

IEEE Spectrum's risk analysis blog, featuring daily news, updates and analysis on computing and IT projects, software and systems failures, successes and innovations, security threats, and more.

Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City