A federal grand jury in Seattle indicted a California man on two counts of computer misuse, alleging that he and two youths created an illicit computer network that jeopardized patient care last month at Northwest Hospital.
Christopher Maxwell, 20, of Vacaville, Calif., first compromised computer networks at California State University, the University of Michigan and the University of California-Los Angeles by exploiting their security lapses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
At a news conference Friday morning, that office and the FBI said Maxwell and his unnamed co-conspirators incorporated those systems into a 13,000-computer network known as a botnet. The name refers to the use of penetrated computers as robots under the control of the network’s creator.
Maxwell and the youths are also accused of penetrating the computer network at Northwest Hospital in Seattle, a 187-bed, not-for-profit institution, where the invasion allegedly impaired patient treatment, delayed processing lab tests and surgery scheduling, and shut down computers in intensive-care rooms.
Maxwell allegedly made $100,000 from unnamed companies whose adware he installed.