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Tech Industry

Akamai hacker pleads guilty

John Bombard faces up to two years in prison for distributed denial-of-service attack.

John Bombard, the Florida man who launched a distributed denial-of-service attack against caching company Akamai Technologies in June 2004, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization. Bombard had launched his "botnet" attacks by gaining control of an army of "zombie" computers, including those on the networks for New York's Columbia University and Pennsylvania's Bucknell University, and using them in an effort to swamp Akamai's servers. Many of Akamai's clients--which include Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Apple Computer--had their sites rendered inaccessible. One company based in Cambridge, Mass., reported $41,000 in losses as a result.

Bombard now faces up to two years imprisonment followed by an additional year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $100,000.