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Inside the life of a botmaster

If you’ve ever wondered what life must be like for a botmaster controlling thousands of zombie PCs across the globe, the Washington Post (opens in new tab) has a particularly interesting interview with one such web malcontent.

Going under the name "0x80" (pronounced X-eighty) this particular 21 year old high school dropout reveals what life is like for a botmaster, earning a living by seeding his botnet with adware and spyware.

'Most days, I just sit at home and chat online while I make money,' 0x80 says. 'I get one check like every 15 days in the mail for a few hundred bucks, and a buncha others I get from banks in Canada every 30 days.' He says his work earns him an average of $6,800 per month, although he's made as much as $10,000. Not bad money for a high school dropout.'"

There is of course no way of checking these figures, as not surprisingly the companies named by 0x80 as being amongst his clients were not to keen to comment.

As for his victims, 0x80 has little sympathy.

"All those people in my botnet, right, if I don't use them, they're just gonna eventually get caught up in someone else's net, so it might as well be mine," 0x80 says. "I mean, most of these people I infect are so stupid they really ain't got no business being on [the Internet] in the first place."

All in all, though, the article paints a pretty sorry picture of 0x80’s life, living as he does at home with his parents in a small town in Middle America, with the nearest businesses are a used-car lot, a gas station/convenience store and a strip club, and where most of his days are spent sitting at home, chatting on line.

You can read the whole article, which also speaks to one of 0x80’s victims and the CEO of adware company 180Solutions at the Washington Post here (opens in new tab).