A Vancouver man received a federal prison sentence for his involvement in developing several distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) botnets.
On June 25, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska announced that Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess had sentenced Kenneth Currin Schuchman, 22, of Vancouver, WA to 13 months in federal prison. The sentence also included a term of 18 months of community confinement upon Schuchman’s release along with a three-year term of supervised release.
Judge Burgess handed down the sentence after Schuchman pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and related activity pertaining to computers in violation of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act.
According to court documents, Schuchman’s involvement with developing DDoS botnets stretched back to at least 2017. He had helped to develop Satori, Fbot and other DDoS botnets based on the source code of Mirai, a botnet whose makers received five years of probation for their crimes in September 2018.
Schuchman’s criminal associates—Aaron Sterritt, a/k/a “Vamp,” and Logan Shwydiuk, a/k/a “Drake”—modified these new botnets over time, the court documents noted. These efforts made the botnets more effective at compromising hundreds of thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide.
Together, the three men leveraged their creations to conduct DDoS attacks. But they mainly sold access to their botnets, allowing malicious actors to conduct their own attack campaigns.
Schuchman kept up his criminal botnet activity for some time. Law enforcement eventually caught up with the Vancouver man, however, and arrested him in August 2018.
Not long thereafter, Schuchman also violated several conditions of his pretrial release.
U.S. Attorney Schroder explains felt that the sentencing of Schuchman served as a message to digital criminals everywhere. As he explained in a Department of Justice press release:
Cybercriminals depend on anonymity, but remain visible in the eyes of justice. Today’s sentencing should serve as a reminder that together with our law enforcement and private sector partners, we have the ability and resolve to find and bring to justice those that prey on Alaskans and victims across the United States.
Following an investigation conducted by the FBI and its partner law enforcement authorities, Vamp and Drake received charges for their crimes, as well.