A 21-year-old American has admitted to using a potent botarmy to wage a relentless campaign of destruction on two volunteer websites as part of a scheme to punish the operators for behavior he thought was unfair. Gregory C. King, of Fairfield, California, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of transmitting code to cause …
"Transmitting code to damage protected computers?"
Apparently they weren't THAT well protected...
Isn't this the guy...
Isn't this the guy the Reg did a profile on a few weeks/months ago as confessions of a teenage botmaster or soemthing like that? Interesting to see the follow-up if it is.
How old is this man - does he have pubes yet?
Or is he just the usual 'alpha male' who is no different than those who will punch you for having the audacity to look in their general direction in a pub, always ready to take up an unidentifiable cause for one of his mates.
So 'alpha male' that he was happy to boast it was he who had done it.
Yup, we are still in trees, shouting at each other.
No IT angle, the man's a twat.
I can't see them getting their costs but that would be nice. Or better if he did the full 9 yards for failing to cough up.
And then got done for botherding.
(How do you misappropriate one of them, BTW?)
I remember Tom Coyote's forum being done at the same time, I think his was one of the first of that group. Now his forum has been taken over by people trying to sell me stuff.
Not the botherd but someone who stepped in when he hit flat broke. Shame. I wonder if he can get comp.
"We're glad that it's over but two years [sentence] after four years of hell, and the amount of money that his actions cost us, is somehow not equaling up,"
Yeah, fuck him. Lets execute the bastard and put his head on a pole HIGH above Washington so that all may see what happens to those who DARE oppose us.
So your website had to deal with a DDoS attack, boo fucking hoo. This guy now has to serve 2 years in an American prison. Equaling up? Fuck no.
This guy's obviously a frustrated, but intelligent kid. Rather then sending him to jail, where no doubt he'll pick up all manner of useful skills, like how to smash a window without making too much noise, make a shank, or sell drugs efficiently.
Why not try an put his knowledge to good use? He'd probably respond well if people took an interest. It's like the teenage tearaways who go into the Army and end up doing great things, these people just need something constructive to put their energy towards.
RE: spoilt brat
"No IT angle, the man's a twat."
Oh I don't know, twats seem to come the the territory when you work in IT, at least in my experience.
"He'd probably respond well if people took an interest"
If you actually read to the end of the lady's comment, apparently he didn't.
Yeah I agree with Edward Pearson regarding getting people like this for more constructive things as going into prison will get him in contact with the wrong people as theres more 'organised' crime in prison than out.
But there needs to me some warning against other who will, do and have done this to say at some point you are going to get caught and prosecuted.
Problem is people like this a bring more legislation to the internet and its gonna become too policed soon to be a free net where any opinions that are not considered American or West European are gonna get banned, censored.
I think this person and the one the The Reg. (confessions of a teenage botmaster) are different, just too many americans with free time and frustrated are coming to light.
The kid got of real easy as in the States now you can be charged with regards to terrorist activities for hacking and denial of service attacks. Two years in prison, or 20 by the bay.
"Why not try an put his knowledge to good use? He'd probably respond well if people took an interest. It's like the teenage tearaways who go into the Army and end up doing great things, these people just need something constructive to put their energy towards."
It was mentioned in the article that Tami Quiring and staff tried befriending King, but that didn't work. It seems he's just a jerk, really.
Four years worth of attacks, from the age of 17 to 21 over what issue? Merely "I have the right to be angry". Well, you now have the right to two years in the slammer, matey.
@ . Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
@ (How do you misappropriate one of them, BTW?)
You log into the IRC room/server that hosts the bots, wait until the botnet owner comes in and logs into his little botnet, then, when he is not looking, log in yourself and do
And they will all download the new bot file to your one, leaving the old owner with nothing and you with a 7000 strong botnet to play with.
And of course, leaving one very hopping mad ex owner who will them disassemble the new updated bot and attempt to get his revenge.
Of course, there are many protections against doing this such as setting the IRC chans to only allow IRCOP's with the ability to message chans. Or using encrypted commands or host auth. However many teenagers with botnets don't do this.
"This guy's obviously a frustrated, but intelligent kid."
Intelligent? Really? Any 14 year old at my son's school can do this crap.
He shows all the social responsibility and none of the creativity of a compulsive graffitti artist.
"He'd probably respond well if people took an interest."
Didn't his poor victims attempt to befriend him, without success?
High on a hill was a lonely botherd
Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo
Mine's the one next to Maria's
"So your website had to deal with a DDoS attack, boo fucking hoo."
"these people just need something constructive to put their energy towards."
How old are you? Still discovering the joys of puberty?
Thanks for the humanitarian angle, but your post displays a basic naivety about people. Some people, regardless of how smart they are, are broken in other ways which make it impossible to reach them or work with them.
I've met more than my fair share of sociopaths. I've met people who abuse others non-stop, and then cry a Nile when they incur a bad reaction.
Some people are scarily broken.
This guy, at minimum, displays a total lack of maturity, and a level of self-centredness that strikes me as a little worrying.
Maybe three years as a missionary in China, good works at the soup kitchens and a life of virtue and prayer, will fix him.
I'm willing to bet otherwise.
Slow down a minute, mate. I'm with you to a point here. The effectiveness of prison is certainly questionable, and it's always sad to see anything that looks like revenge justice; the suggestion that he's not going to loose enough important, young years in jail being particularly regrettable.
However the idea that the kid is responsible for nothing more than hubris in daring to oppose some form of authority is wrong. He's been doing material damage, and they state the costs. I don't know what a similar sentence would be for physical criminal damage of comparable value, but it wouldn't be light. Which is not to say that the sentence is right, but rather to contest the suggestioin that he's guilty of nothing more than hubris.
@ Edward Pearson
Lol, I can just picture you finding a guy throwing a brick through your windscreen and going up to him to ask if he has any skills you could maybe help him with.
When are we going to get back to punishing wrongdoers instead of trying to help them?
Edward ... doing bad things has consequences.
Maybe, after he has paid for what he did, he can start being some use to the rest of society. If his parents didn't teach him right from wrong you might have an argument, as in he is morally deficient, but I don't believe he didn't know what he did was bad.
He's an arrogant fool, who thought he could get away with it.
I agree with everything you said (almost), don't mind the flamers here. They like justice and they like it served hot.
They pretty much liken computer misuse by teenagers and young men gone astray to mass murder's and rapists.
"So your website had to deal with a DDoS attack, boo fucking hoo."
Translation: "So your business lost $70k, big deal." Most small/medium businesses can't afford to lose $70k. And if the kid had spent 4 years continuous smashing up people's cars then he'd probably be spending more than 2 years in clink (now he's over 18 anyway). I think the judge probably got it about right, but you can understand the frustration of someone who's lost their pension or their kids' college education money as a result of 4 years of harassment and isn't going to be getting any financial recompense.
Yeah, kids sometimes do stupid stuff for the hell of it. But if you get to 21 and you're still doing it, chances are pretty good you're not going to grow out of it on your own.
2 years isnt enough...
This kid has a nasty reputation for being violent and controlling, he needs some serious time in a behavioral facility on top of the 2 years in federal prison. on the bright side, they've abolished parole in the federal system so sentences are "dispense as written", 2 years means 2 years... i would love to see the judge override the plea agreement and give this guy like 18 years, send a clear message to these fuckers who like to do shit like this...
Two years not enough?
Get real, folks. This chap didn't kill anyone, wound anyone, addict anyone to hard drugs, put anyone in fear for their life. That's the sort of scum that ought to go to jail. He didn't even steal for personal gain. Assuming this is a first offence by an irresponsible youngster, he deserves to be given the rope instead of hanged with it.
He has talent, though he's mis-applied it. He should probably be sentenced to work minimum-wage for a non-profit organisation that he can sympathise with. Turn the poacher into a gamekeeper!
Worth remembering that Richard Branson admits to starting in business as a VAT fraudster. I wonder how many more are like him, but too embarassed to say (or worse, haven't even voluntarily settled up with the authorties).
@AC RE:@ Edward
Rather stupid and immature over-the-top characterisation so not surprised that you agree with Edward.
should of called in Chuck Norris; thats protection.
No. This is a textbook example of a script kiddie. The only thing that might have required thought was 'obtaining' the botnet, and I'll be damned surprised if he figured that out by himself, rather than following some cookbook recipe.
"Rather stupid and immature over-the-top characterisation so not surprised that you agree with Edward."
Not at all, I did not have time to elaborate but back to the debate of non violent, immature offenders going to hardcore American jails for white collar crimes, it is a vulgar and ineffective punishment.
He was pressured into pleading guilty by the rather extreme jail sentence that was the maximum they could have passed down. To quote from the article "faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000"
Oh rly? For a young man just starting his life who has done nothing more than pressed a few buttons? It's this type of arrogance that anarchy reigns from and where the "go fuck yourself then" mentality arises.
"Screw the system before it screws you" Every teenager thinks that at some point. Lets not punish our younger brothers through their silly mistakes but instead educate them. Or at least, when i say "lets not punish" not through extended jail terms which as I said before, is vulgar and ineffective.
In a stupid country which has passed laws where you cannot even cross the road without getting screwed over I expect no less though. We worry about extremism, America worries about extremism, they need look no further then their back door.
Hell, why do I have to pay 3 times my oil bill and a ridiculous amount for diesel? Becasue some twats over there decided to blow up a country or two and murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The same twats who pass laws which jail immature kids. The same twats who want to put every fucker in jail and stand up proud and pat themselves on the back whilst they prance about spouting shit about getting rid of the evil that reigns over this world, promising to make it a better place by jailing and killing every fucker that gets in their way so that they can stand proud amongst the 300 that are left once they have set off a few nukes and caused world war 3 4 5 and 6 so that they can hide in their bunkers and eat tinned food till they run out of air and die and consequently cockroaches become the dominant species
Yes, we are royally fucked. Becasue they put that dude in jail for 2 years.
Re: Isn't this the guy...
You must be thinking of the profile we did of a hacker nicknamed SoBe, who recently pleaded guilty to crimes committed while he was a juvenile. That article is at:
El Reg also did an earlier profile of Greg King that you can find at:
@Pinko bloody liberals.
Sod all the namby pamby bleeding heart stuff, strap the little bugger down and I'll gut him like a fish.
@ AC RE:Not at all,
I hope that was intended as hysterical parody otherwise you are only confirming what I said.
Sorry if it was a joke and I missed it. Even sorrier if you can't see it.
Challenging the hackers?
"We told Greg a long time ago that he was taking on the wrong people and I guess we proved it," she said.
Sounds like she's making a challenge to all the hackers and crackers out there to try and take her on.May she live in interesting times.
A little knowledge...
@Jay - yes, they were and still are protected. That is a legal definition and really nothing to do with whether our servers are protected or not, and whether or not a DDoS attack was directed at pages and files on our sites.
@Edward Pearson - Do you have any idea what our sites are even about? Or the number of kids we *have* helped and given real-life work experience to? Or the number of kids who could easily have chosen the path of Greg King, but chose to do positive things instead? Do you know how frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking it was to the kids involved in running the community and learning how to run a business or career skills these attacks were? They did nothing to deserve the hate that Greg King unleashed on them. It was left to my partner and I as administrators and owners to stave off that hatred and try to fight back via the only legal avenues open to us. If we had fought back otherwise, it wouldn't have been setting a good example to the kids we run the network for, would it? It wouldn't have been fair to those kids if we had just given up, would it? We sacrificed family time, holidays, sleep, and yes money and more time to keep the community going, and so did many of the kids who help run and build the network. Why? Because the majority are better than the few. Why give in to a cyber bully? Would you give in to bully you met on the street?
I wish there was much more that I could say about what Greg did and how we fought back, evaded attacks and such, but I can't as the case is still technically before the courts.
@I.M. Fantom - thank you for your well wishes. We were not issuing a challenge to anyone. I simply told Greg that I had no intention of giving up and that I would see these attacks and the case through to the end. The network and "the KillaNet kids" came first, and if I had to employ the knowledge I have in regards to fighting back, then I would, and I did.
To the rest of you - thank you to those who understand. May the rest of you one day understand as well. There is so much about this case that none of you know, save perhaps the law enforcement officers involved and Dan Goodin, but as a fellow journalist, I am pleased to see that he is following the courtesy of our "off the record" discussions. Perhaps one day the whole story can be told, and you will all see the complete profile of what this particular cyber bully is like. By the way, this is not the only crime for which he has been convicted - this one was "just online and not violent" so before you spend too much time bleeding from your hearts, remember you don't have all of the facts. ;)
Kudos for a measured and mature response.
I'll put £5 on those who are saying "Aw, he's just a kiddy, he doesn't deserve jail time" etc have never:
A: Administrated an IT site, physical [school network] or logical [website]
B: Known anyone with a criminal record that involves non-blue collar crime.
C: If they have A:, they have never put any real effort or care into it.
I know a few people with convictions for assualt and affray, and what they have been convicted with, in most cases [but not all - and this is metered out by discussing this with other mates who know people with convictions for non-blue collar crime] is the tip of the iceberg of what they have done, and are capable of doing.
@AC @AC the one ending "It's symptomatic"
Good grief, someone must have modded "the-twat-o-tron" to do El Reg posts... They must have, it's the only explanation for a rambling, disjointed post like that. If it was written by a human, we are royally fucked.
What's in a name?
A bully by any other name would smell as bad. Straight to the clink he goes and good riddance. As for
> Sounds like she's making a challenge to all the hackers and crackers out there to try and take her on.
Yeah, and good of her too. Once we stop doing that the bullies will have won. Not on my net...
I have to agree with Edward that two years in an American prison is an inappropriate punishment.
A far more fitting penalty would be to tie him to a stake in a stadium full of average email users with a sign round his neck reading "SPAMMER". All persons entering the stadium would be given a stick of wood and a box of matches.
For all the people that say he should hang and that 2 years is not enought may you get royally screwed when you do any wrong doing. It seems that now days we all thik that we can do no wrong and its all about me and blame the other guy, and i'm the inoccent victim here. What a load of bs. Everday everybody does something against the law, (speeding, taxes, even jay walking,) it the side you are taking is give him the max penalty then I want you to be punished also the the fullest extent, then you might say "But I didnt kill anyone and no one got hurt"
""A far more fitting penalty would be to tie him to a stake in a stadium full of average email users with a sign round his neck reading "SPAMMER". All persons entering the stadium would be given a stick of wood and a box of matches."" <--Does this even make sense? Ok you get a DUI to the stake you go, and everybody thow broken beer bottles at you....American as a whole society is messed up, but we only blame others not us, how convenient.
And finally how arrogant is her comment that he took on the wrong people like she is in the mob or something, doesnt sound like much of a victim to me..
@AC - the latest one
In this case, we did nothing wrong, we did not ask for this kid to try to destroy our community. We tried to interest him in positive activities, but he was (and is) simply not interested. He preferred to continue with illegal activities.
As I said above, you all do not have the full facts of the case, you do not know exactly how much damage he caused or how much money he actually cost us.
As to arrogance - my remark was not in any way arrogant. He was warned, he continued to attack, he was warned again, he thumbed his nose at us (in some very nasty ways), and we fought back with the legal system. Why the hell should we have to stand by and let the hard work of a good group of kids get devastated at the whim of some egotistical cyber bully? We even turned his attacks into positive lessons for the community's kids. They learned a lot about security, the law, investigative techniques, how to deal with bullies, how to not give up when everything seems lost - and guess what? Now some of those kids have graduated high school, they are either in college or university studying IT, and some have also gone on to be employed in excellent IT jobs. Another of those kids is in his second year of medical school. Why? Because we didn't give up, and neither did they.
Our community's whole philosophy is that it takes only one open door to change a child's life forever. We kept that door open for them no matter the cost. There have been many times in their lives where ours was the only encouraging voice they had when it came to working in game development or anything computer related, because some parents still see technology as a waste of time. I care about our community's kids - I have probably been more of a parent than many of their own parents have been. I have proof-read homework, I have listened to teenage angst problems, boy-girl problems, and also shared the happy times with them - first dates, passing a tough course, graduation. I have watched these kids grow up and learn their crafts, listened to their hopes and dreams, and offered them an impartial ear (or screen) when they needed one. Why? Because I care, and our community's kids have a passion and a dream for their future, and they deserve every bit of encouragement and support they can get.
Greg chose his own open door as well, and now when it closes behind him it will have a very distinctive metallic ring to it. That was his choice. It was my choice to stand up to him and see this through to the finale. If you want to fault me and my associates for that, that is your choice - maybe one day you will come to the realization that if no one takes a stand, we all lose.
And before any of you "AC" types say I spend too much time online or something silly like that - I work at a computer. It's part of my job - in fact it's part of both of my jobs. I have also raised two kids of my own who have a social conscience, don't run the streets at night, aren't brought home by the cops, aren't in gangs, don't drink and don't do drugs. In fact my eldest is in the process of going through her Royal Canadian Mounted Police acceptance tests, and the younger is an internet radio station DJ who just completed voice-over acting training. Gee, does that sound mobster to you?
Well done, you stuck a young lad in an American Jail, full of hardened crims.
@ "I have also raised two kids of my own who have a social conscience, don't run the streets at night, aren't brought home by the cops, aren't in gangs, don't drink and don't do drugs. In fact my eldest is in the process of going through her Royal Canadian Mounted Police acceptance tests"
Mother of the year award for you. Well done again.
Though, I am assuming that if your kids ever do anything wrong you will be the first to promote the maximum jail term possible for them, of course.
Silly women. You seriously think jail is the best place for kids? And don't give me that over 18 crap, he is a kid. However, I realise it is a pointless argument as you are just yet another brainwashed American. Great to know your thoughts are not really your own ey?
Do you even think before spewing out such drivel? This won't be the first time Gregory King has spent time before bars. Tami alluded to this, but you're too busy offering knee-jerk reactions to take this in. I suppose if someone inflicted tens of thousands of dollars in damage on your business you'd sit the chap down by a campfire and sing Kumbaya.
And since when is Greg King a "kid"? He's 21 years old. Do try to get your facts straight before posting, will you?
First off, I am not American, I am Canadian.
Two, Greg King broke international law by interfering with the right of a foreign entity to conduct legal business in the USA - our servers are in the USA, and many members of our community are American, and British, and Australian, and European etc. etc. etc.
Further, I don't really have to worry about my kids doing anything as stupid as what he did, and should they ever actually do something to break the law, then they had better be prepared for the consequences. They do understand the concept of cause and effect. It takes effort and time to teach children. I'm willing to put in the time and effort. Don't think you know all the facts, either. There have been situations in both of my kids' lives where they had to deal with the same issues many other kids have to deal with, and they are certainly not perfect - no one is. The difference is I cared enough to seek the proper assistance for them. As a result, I have two kids who know they can talk to me about absolutely anything without being judged and we can often work together to find solutions to the problem.
Greg's parents were fully aware of what he was doing - I think that having the FBI seize all computers in the house would be a great wake-up call. It took him being charged with a Federal crime before they took any steps at all in regards to his behaviour. In fact, he admitted that even before the computers were seized, his father was aware of what he was doing, so tsk on them.
@ Dan - thank you.
Congratulations once more on having raised such great kids. :) And please accept my apologies over my American comments.
However, 2 years in jail is harsh. Your business suffered I admit that, and I agree some punishment was needed, but 2 years in some pisshole in America where he will be rubbing shoulders with the hard of the hard is not going to help anyone. How does that help your business?
Restrict his computer access, put him on probation and educate him.
Jail is not the answer and never will be, it has proven time and time again to be an ineffective punishment and where "kids" or should I say "young men" are concerned, who have committed no violent crimes, all we are doing is teaching them new ways of committing more crimes.
Tami - I have ddosed before, and a lot worse, in fact I have featured on your forums discussion many times. I too had the FBI at my door, Scotland Yard and Interpol. Twice in fact. I didn't learn the first time but I did the second and I have never gone there again. I didn't get or need jail time to teach me that lesson. However had I gotten 2 years in Jail you better believe me I would be out to make up for it once I got out. It's called revenge.
So, in 2 years time do you think he will be educated or do you think some new attacks may happen? Well disguised ones. I wonder.
Protected computer my arsenal...
(2) the term “protected computer” means a computer—
(A) exclusively for the use of a financial institution or the United States Government, or, in the case of a computer not exclusively for such use, used by or for a financial institution or the United States Government and the conduct constituting the offense affects that use by or for the financial institution or the Government; or
(B) which is used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication, including a computer located outside the United States that is used in a manner that affects interstate or foreign commerce or communication of the United States;
Not sure either qualifies... so should get a better lawyer...
"Protectors of the guilty"
See, having read through the comments posted here (numerous times, just in case I may have somehow missed the reasoning), I am noticing a common theme to those who choose to state that he is undeserving of his punishment.
It's called ignorance. As in ignorance to the case. You are only receiving a part of the story (mind you, given the fact that the case is still before the Federal Judge, it's about all of the case you are entitled to at this time), and are basing your judgements and comments on that information. Which is fine... except that it's also not completely accurate.
As has been posted, this is not the first time that Greg has had run-ins with the law. If you dig deep enough in Google, you will find his name popping up on the Fairfield police website for another incident that took place "recently" (meaning, while he was still being investigated for the DDoS attacks). If you check some other sites that have been following his case (not gonna name them... got to make you all work a bit *wink*), you'll also discover that he didn't exactly listen to the suggestions given to him by the Feds when he was initially raided and later arrested.
Greg knew full well what was going to be coming down on him. I know this, because I told him myself on numerous occasions. He was given many chances to just go away quietly and disappear. He chose instead to become drunk on the power of his botnet and the ability to type in a few small commands and make any website that irked him disappear instead... or so he thought (we got rather well at combating his syn and icmp floods).
When someone... irregardless of their age, comes up to you and brags to you about what they just got charged for by the FBI, laughs about the potential sentence that is hanging over their head, and then proceeds to flood your servers with hundreds and hundreds of mb/s second for days on end... it's obvious that they are ready for a wake-up call. As Tami mentioned, the sound of the door closing behind him will be just the wake-up call he was asking for.
@Latest AC: With technology advancing as quickly as it is, my guess is that in 2 years, the knowledge that Greg had with botnets and website attacks will be massively outdated. Likely with the information that is coming about, the means of combating them will also have taken great advancements (same theory as virus/antivirus). Besides, who knows... maybe when he gets out, he'll be able to take the Mitnick path and sell his story and go on tours.
@Chris: his lawyer did everything he could to protect Greg and keep him out among the public. Unfortunately for Greg, it wasn't enough. I'm sure it will come out in time that by the very definition of "Protected Computer" (as per 18 U.S.C. § 1030(e)(2)(A)), the charges were appropriate.
Its real difficult to reply in defense to some of these comments without releasing sealed information in regards to the case... so those of you who think you know it all about this and are quick to lash out at those in support for the charges and the admittal of his guilt (when you go before a judge and enter a guilty plea, that means that you know there is no amount of evidence in the World that can prove you're innocent), just remember that there is a LOT going on behind the case that you are clueless about. Instead of saying it's all wrong, just wait until September 4th and see what happens then.
Sounds like the same bullshit which was pulled against Gary McKinnon
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