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California man arrested for botnet attacks on CastleCops, KillaNet

A California man was arrested this week for allegedly attacking organizations, including the anti-phishing community CastleCops, with botnets.

Greg King, 21, of Fairfield, has been charged with four counts of electronic transmission of codes to cause damage to protected computers.

The charges are the result of an FBI investigation, according to U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott of the Eastern District of California.

King, also known online as “Silenz,” “Silenz420,” “sZ,” “GregK,” and “Gregk707,” allegedly controlled more than 7,000 servers as part of his botnet, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Segal, a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office of Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property.

If convicted, King faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

When FBI agents tried to arrest King, he fled through the back door of his residence carrying a laptop, then dropped the computer in the bushes of his backyard. Agents obtained a warrant to search the property and seized the laptop, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

King is accused of launching attacks on the server of KillaNet, a cyber-education organization, between July 2004 and December 2006, and attacking CastleCops from Feb. 17-18 of this year.

Paul Laudanski, CastleCops founder and co-owner, declined comment, telling today that he may have to testify at King's trial.

KilllaNet, in a statement released on Monday, accused King of attacking its servers in December 2003, before he was 18 years old.

Tami Quiring, KillaNet owner, said in a prepared statement that King, who allegedly attacked the group from McDonalds restaurants and Best Buy retail stores, threatened the organization because it would not give in to his demands to shut down.

“I simply refused to give in to a person who amounts to nothing more than a common script kiddie, although without the incredible support from KillaNet Technology's dedicated staff and community members, and the belief I have that we are making a difference in young people's lives as they chase their dreams of working in the digital media industry, I probably would have given up long ago,” she said. “With Mr. King currently behind bars awaiting trial, we can once again look at expanding our resource community and become the company we had originally planned for. Naturally we are hoping for a guilty verdict once the trial concludes, and we are most definitely looking into the possibility of seeking damages against Mr. King and his parents for some type of reparation of the over $50,000 in delays and damages he has caused KillaNet Technology over the past few years.”

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