An Arizona man, James Bragg, recently pleaded guilty of conspriacy to commit securities fraud, and now faces a large fine and possible prison term for the pump-and-dump scams he perpetrated using botnets and spam.
Pump-and-dump scams involve hyping the value of a cheap/worthless stock by advertising it heavily over the internet using spam. Typically, the stock is bought by the attacker who then sends out the mails to hype the stock, which creates buying interest, and then the attacker sells all their stock, cashing in on the falsely inflated value.
In this case, the defendant had allegedly hired people to use botnets to distribute his messages. The botnets were also used to compromise private accounts so that these could be used to buy up large amounts of the stocks in question. He also faces charges from sending spam.
Full story is here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/21/pump_and_dump_botnet/
CTO, K7 Computing