Sunday 10 December 2006

GOOD News: Innocent Woman's PC Seized by Police

What's that you say? Good news? Read on...

Denver woman has PC. PC gets infected by remote-access malware. PC becomes zombie. PC does bad things. Armed police come knocking with warrant. PC seized as evidence. Local ABC news says:

Investigators said someone hacked into [Serry] Winkler's computer ... and used it with a stolen credit card to make fraudulent purchases online ... "Four sheriffs from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office with flak jackets and weapons drawn pounded on my door," said Winkler. "You're just not prepared for it." ... Winkler didn't have a firewall on her computer, which she said was too old. "I've tried it, but it just slows it down so badly that I can't," she said.

Internet security expert Rick Orr of Symantec said that early on, hacking activity was related to fame. "What we've seen in the last few years is a transition from a motivation of fame to a motivation of financial gain," said Orr. He said thieves don't take holidays and when it comes to Internet security, neither should you.

I say: good. I'm glad this happened and that it's getting some publicity (albeit local).

While I'm sad that Ms. Winkler was scared and inconvenienced, a few more of these sort of stories might actually make people more likely to protect their PCs. That ought to put a serious dent in the spam-spewing botnet problem.

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[Hat tip: Fergie.]

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