[ISN] Southfield teenager accused in computer attacks

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Mon Mar 21 2005 - 03:13:35 PST


March 19, 2005 

A Southfield teen was arrested Friday and accused of orchestrating
computer attacks to cripple Web sites operated by competitors to his
online sportswear business.
Jason Saleh Arabo, 18, of Southfield was arrested by FBI agents in
Detroit and charged with conspiring to transmit a program to damage a
computer, federal prosecutors said.

Also arrested was a New Jersey teen, who federal and state authorities
said carried out the attacks.

Damage from the attacks reverberated beyond the targets, eventually
causing $1.2 million to $2 million in damage to about 100 Web sites,
said John Hagerty, a spokesman for the state Division of Criminal

FBI Special Agent Tim Nestor put the cost even higher, at $2.5
million, calculated on lost business as well as the cost to repair

"It was a fairly large attack," said Nestor, supervisor of the FBI
cybercrime squad in New Jersey, adding that on one day over the summer
it knocked out a "backbone provider" of Internet service in eastern
Pennsylvania for 12 hours.

"This was a malicious attack that had widespread practical and
financial consequences. The damage literally rolled across the country
and beyond," U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie said in a

A 17-year-old boy in Edison, N.J., was arrested Friday by New Jersey
State Police and charged with one count of computer theft by denial of
service, Lt. Kevin Rehmann said. The teen, whose name was not released
because of his age, was held at the Middlesex County juvenile
detention center.

Authorities did not immediately know who Arabo or the 17-year-old had
retained as lawyers.

Arabo was released on $50,000 bond. A message seeking comment was left
at his home Friday afternoon.

The pair met online in June in a chat room "where computer-savvy
people can communicate with each other," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric
H. Jaso said.

Arabo operated two companies that sold sports clothing,
www.customleader.com and www.jerseydomain.com, from his home. He
recruited the teen to conduct the attacks in return for some of the
historic uniform reproductions he sold, along with high-end sneakers
and a watch, Jaso said.

In July, the teen launched "distributed denial of service" attacks
aimed at computer servers supporting the Web sites of his competitors,
including a New Jersey company, according to a complaint filed by the

This was accomplished by secretly infecting thousands of computers
with copies of a program known as a "bot," short for robot. The teen
then ordered the bots to access the targeted Web site at the same
time, overloading the site's server and causing it to crash, the
complaint said.

Authorities seized Arabo's home computer in January, Jaso said.

The New Jersey company, identified in the FBI complaint only as "JJ,"  
notified the FBI on July 7 that its Web site had been attacked five
days earlier, leaving it unable to do business. The attacks continued
into December.

The charge against Arabo carries up to five years in prison and a fine
of up to twice the loss to victims. The charge against the teen could
carry prison time, depending on how the case is prosecuted.

Bellua Cyber Security Asia 2005 -

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