Company Knowingly Keeps Convicted Botmaster on the Job
March 6, 2009
This isn’t something you see everyday. For the company’s sake, let’s hope that this employee appreciates the second chance he has been given. Many criminals only dream of the same opportunity.
Mahalo.com embraces Acidstorm
By Dan Goodin, The Register
For the past four or five months, Mahalo.com has entrusted its site to a security consultant who stole hundreds of thousands of bank passwords with a massive botnet, which he sometimes administered from his former employer’s premisis.
For most of that time, serial entrepreneur and Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis was in the dark because no one at the company had bothered to Google the employee. But even after learning that 27-year-old John Kenneth Schiefer confessed to extensive botnet crimes just 16 months ago, they are continuing to trust him with system root passwords and other sensitive company information.
“After really a lot of careful deliberation and looking at exactly what damage he could do here and how he was being supervised, we made a compassionate decision to let him work up to the day that he goes to prison,” Calacanis told The Register. “We’ve made a point of supervising him and I talk to him on a daily basis.”
On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Schiefer to serve four years in federal prison and pay $20,000 in restitution and a $2,500 fine. The hacker, who went by the names Acid and Acidstorm, has been given 90 days to surrender to prison officials.
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