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Sex-sting target convicted of attacks on media sites

Man caught in online sex sting is convicted of using virus and botnet to attack media sites that covered the case, Department of Justice says.

A man reportedly targeted by an online sex sting was convicted yesterday on a charge relating to launching denial-of-service attacks on sites that posted stories about the incident.

Bruce Raisley, 49, of Kansas City, Mo., was convicted of launching a program that infected about 100,000 computers around the world and directing them to attack the Web sites of Rolling Stone Magazine and others, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Specifically, he was accused of writing a virus that turned infected PCs into a botnet that then attacked the Web sites. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, along with restitution estimated to be more than $100,000, according to the Justice Department.

Raisley's wrath was presumably provoked after he was targeted by the Perverted Justice vigilante group he used to volunteer with, the Justice Department said. The group works with the "Dateline NBC" TV feature "To Catch a Predator" to identify and apprehend suspected pedophiles.

Raisley had a falling out with the founder of Perverted Justice, Xavier Von Erck, and became an outspoken critic of the group, according to the Justice Department. To retaliate, Von Erck posed online as a woman and started a relationship with Raisley, according to the Justice Department. Eventually, Raisley agreed to leave his wife and was photographed by Perverted Justice waiting to meet the woman at the airport, the Justice Department said.

Articles in Radar Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine in 2006 and 2007, respectively, mentioned the Perverted Justice-Raisley matter and the articles were widely picked up by other sites. The sites that had posted the articles were targeted in the attacks, the Justice Department said.