Former Student Nears End Of Sentence For Attacking Websites - WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio

Former Student Nears End Of Sentence For Attacking Websites

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

A former University of Akron student is nearing the end of his two-and-a-half year federal criminal sentence for attacking websites belonging to well-known political conservatives. 

Mitchell Frost, 26, of Bellevue, says he had a computer in his bedroom at the age of 10.  By the time he was a teenager, he'd learned how to hack into and remotely control a collection of computers known as a "botnet" and use them as zombies or robots to attack a website or server.

"You can have botnets anywhere from 15 or 20 computers under your control to a couple of million," Frost said. "The more computers you have, the more power you have because it takes a certain amount of computers to cause enough damage to take down a server or a website or whatever you're trying to take down."

Frost was a student at the University of Akron when he attacked and shut down the websites of several political conservatives including Ann Coulter, Rudy Giuliani and Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly.

Frost says he did not hack for profit but rather to make a political statement against what he considered, in the case of Bill O'Reilly, a "biased media organization." 

"I always felt I had to fight against something that was wrong," Frost said. "I don't want to be cocky or nothing like that - but you know I had the power, I was young and stupid, and I ended up taking it down."

Frost pleaded guilty in May 2010 to charges of causing damage to a protected computer system and possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices.

Federal prosecutors said Frost admitted to using the University of Akron's computer network to take control of other computers and computer networks. They said Frost used compromised computers to collect data, including usernames, passwords, credit card information and launch attacks (known as Distributed Denial of Service) on other computer systems and websites.

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