48 year old Bruce Raisley, a computer hacker once involved with the NBC show "To Catch a Predator” was sentenced to two years in jail, followed by three years of supervised release and a $90,386.34 fine, for launching a virus that infected 100,000 computers.
Raisley is a former employee of Perverted Justice, the organisation that was featured on NBC’s popular reality TV show, "To Catch a Predator,” where Raisley and his colleagues would pose as underage children to identify online predators. They would then organise real-life meetings with these predators that would end in the culprit’s arrest.
Raisley stopped working with Perverted Justice when he had a falling out with the group and its founder, Xavier Von Erck, and began publicly bad-mouthing the organisation. In a petty revenge scheme, Von Erck created an online persona named "Holly,” and initiated an Internet relationship with Raisley, convincing him to leave his wife. A Perverted Justice volunteer later snapped a photograph of Raisley waiting for the non-existant "Holly” at the airport.
In 2006 and 2007, Radar Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine published stories about Perverted Justice and "To Catch a Predator,” both of which mentioned Raisley and the "Holly” incident. Other magazines and popular websites picked up on the scandal and posted the details online. In an attempt to wipe his slate clean, Raisley hatched a plan to rid the Internet of the stories, creating a virus that unleashed distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against any websites that had posted the articles. The virus ended up infecting 100, 000 computers world-wide and costing Rolling Stone, Radar, Nettica, Corrupted Justice and the Rick Ross Institute of New Jersey over $100,000 in damages.
Raisley was charged with developing and launching a malicious computer program and was first convicted in September of last year.