State of technology: beating back hackers
At one point, Jeanson James Ancheta, a 21-year-old California hacker, had more than 400,000 compromised computers at his command. He and his "botmaster underground" cohorts would sell access to their "botnet" to third parties, which would use it to launch massive distributed denial-of-service attacks, disseminate a torrent of spam and install adware on unsuspecting users' machines.
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