United States Attorney
Eastern District of New York
One Pierrepont Plaza
Brooklyn, New York 11201
Mailing Address:147 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
March 19, 1998
U.S. Attorney's Office
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Eugene E. Kashpureff Pleaded Guilty to Unleashing Software on the Internet
That Interrupted Service for Tens of Thousands of Internet Users Worldwide
ZACHARY W. CARTER, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and LEWIS D. SCHILIRO, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York, today announced the filing of a criminal information and guilty plea of EUGENE E. KASHPUREFF, the owner of AlterNIC, a Washington State-based commercial registration service for Internet domain names associated with Internet Web Sites. KASHPUREFF was charged with violating the federal computer fraud statute, 18 United States Code, Section 1030.
In pleading guilty, KASHPUREFF has admitted that on two occasions in July 1997, he unleashed software on the Internet that interrupted service for tens of thousands of Internet users worldwide. KASHPUREFF, a self-described "webslinger," designed a corruption of the software system that allows Internet-linked computers to communicate with each other. By exploiting a weakness in that software, KASHPUREFF hijacked Internet users attempting to reach the Web Site for InterNIC, his chief commercial competitor, to his AlterNIC Web Site, impeding those users' ability to register Web Site domain names or to review InterNIC's popular "electronic directory" for existing domain names.
Since 1993, the National Science Foundation has designated InterNIC as the exclusive registrar for all Internet domain names containing the generic abbreviations ".com" (for commercial entities), ".org" (for non-profit organizations), ".edu" (for educational institutions), ".net" (for computer networks and Internet Service Providers) and ".gov" (for government entities). InterNIC currently administers over 1.2 million domain names, and its Web Site is visited over the Internet approximately 1 million times per day. InterNIC also administers the popular "WHOIS" directory, which identifies names and addresses on the Internet.
KASHPUREFF worked to perfect this DNS corruption over a one-year period, under the name "Operation DNS Storm." As a result of KASHPUREFF's actions, between July 10 and 14, 1997, and again between July 21 and 24, 1997, thousands of Internet users throughout the world trying to reach InterNIC were involuntarily rerouted to AlterNIC's Web Site, and were impeded from registering or updating the registration of domain names.
After launching his Internet attacks, KASHPUREFF boasted to the media about the effects of his scheme, claiming that he could divert all communications destined for China, the 100 most visited Web Sites in the world, and the White House Web Site.
On September 12, 1997, a criminal complaint and warrant for KASHPUREFF's arrest were obtained. After discovering that KASHPUREFF had left the United States and was residing in Canada, the government initiated extradition proceedings with the Canadian Department of Justice. Canadian authorities arrested KASHPUREFF in Toronto where he remained in custody for almost two months while he resisted extradition to the United States. On December 24, 1997, after waiving extradition, KASHPUREFF was turned over by Canada to United States authorities and arraigned on charges in Brooklyn.
In announcing today's guilty plea, MR. CARTER expressed his appreciation to the FBI and in particular to its New York Computer Crime Squad, for its invaluable contribution to the case. MR. CARTER also thanked the Canadian Department of Justice for its assistance in the extradition proceedings brought against KASHPUREFF.
KASHPUREFF pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Allyne Ross. He faces a maximum sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joel M. Cohen and Jo Ann Navickas.
Defendant: EUGENE E. KASHPUREFF
Address: 561 N.E. Newkirk Road
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