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Florida man charged in 2004 attack on Akamai

He allegedly helped launch a DDoS attack on Akamai's systems

By Linda Rosencrance
October 25, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - A 32-year-old Florida man has been charged with hacking into computer systems at two major universities and helping to launch a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on servers managed by Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai Technologies Inc.

According to U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, John Bombard of Seminole, Fla., was charged yesterday with two counts of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization. If convicted, he would face up to two years in prison followed by one year of supervised release and a $200,000 fine on each charge, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Akamai spokesman Jeff Young said the company couldn't comment on the matter because the charges were still pending.

Akamai distributes online content and business processes over a network of computer servers. On June 14, 2004, it suffered a significant increase in Web traffic to a number of its Domain Name System (DNS) servers, Sullivan said in a statement. That increase in traffic was caused by the DDoS attack against Akamai's global traffic management servers, which served many customers. Access to the Web sites of those customers was slowed and in some cases completely blocked by the attack.

According to the statement, the attack against Akamai's infrastructure allegedly originated from a bot network that received its instructions from a series of computers, including ones located at two major universities, the identities of which have not been made public.

Bombard is accused of compromising those computer systems using a variant of the Gaobot worm and then allegedly directing communication from the university computers to the bot network from a computer located on his domain, ""

The case was investigated by the FBI before the charges against Bombard were filed.

Read more about Cybercrime and Hacking in Computerworld's Cybercrime and Hacking Topic Center.

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