U.S. vs. Jason Arabo

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U.S. vs. Jason Arabo

In 2004, 18 year old Jason Salah Arabo from Michigan was arrested and pleaded guilty with conspiracy to order destructive computer attacks on business competitor’s websites from his home by remotely controlling them with a computer program called, “Bot”. Bots can be easily disguised as MP3 music files or pictures that unaware users download from public websites. Once they are downloaded, Bots will cause the virus to overload the website’s hosting computer server that result in crashing the entire system. Arabo wasn’t alone in this process. He and former 16 year old “Jasmine” Signh from New Jersey, creator of the Bot, had met Arabo on an instant messenger chat, and had agreed to help takedown Arabo’s competitor websites in exchange for Arabo’s merchandise, including designer sneakers. Arabo was running two business companies that sold throwback sports apparel such as team jerseys over the internet. Together, Arabo and Signh had designed the program in what they thought would help Arabo’s business by stopping customers from visiting and using other services.

The attacks ended up spreading, affecting businesses as far away as Europe due to unaware internet service providers hosting Arabo’s targeted websites. This was causing disruption to the operations of major online retail businesses, data backup, and companies that provide communications, banks, and information services to the medical and pharmaceutical industries resulting in severe attacks of their corporate websites, internet access, data-storage, e-mail and disaster-recovery systems. The infected computers also targeted students at two college campuses in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Based on what I found in my research, an estimate of $504,000 in financial losses resulted from these attacks.

The case was uncovered by a special agent of the FBI, Agent Timothy Nester. Nester had tracked the computers infected by the Bots and privately isolated one of them in...
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