Hackers: Crimes and punishments

Max Ray Butler was arrested in 2000 after refusing to cooperate with the FBI.

Previously, Butler was an informant for the Bureau, helping them track down other computer hackers.

Butler was charged with 15 counts of cyber crimes in 2001 including computer intrusion, possession of stolen passwords, and interception of communications, receiving 18 months in an American prison.

Butler was arrested again in 2007 after a raid on his apartment revealed 1.8 million stolen credit card accounts stored on his computer.

The case, which is set to go to court in October, could result in Butler receiving 40 years in prison and a possible fine of $1.5 million if found guilty.

Jeanson James Ancheta

Californian hacker Jeanson Ancheta, was the first cyber criminal to be convicted for the control of a large number of hijacked computers, known as botnets, which he used to access nearly 400,000 separate computers, as well as two military facilities.

Arrested in 2005, Ancheta was officially charged in January 2006 with conspiracy to violate CANSPAM Act, conspiracy to violate the computer fraud act, damaging military computers, and illegal computer access with intent to commit fraud.

He received 57 months in prison, and was ordered to pay $60,000 in cash, as well as an additional $15,000 to the federal government for damages he caused to its computers.

Simon Vallor

Unemployed warehouseman Simon Vallor was convicted and jailed for two years in January 2003 by Southwark crown court.

Vallor from North Wales created three viruses - Gokar, Redesi-B and Admirer - that hit thousands of computers globally.

According to reports, if the FBI and Scotland Yard had not caught up with the Welsh hacker, his viruses could have caused global disruption to tens of thousands of computers, businesses, organisations and people.

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