back to article Sex, lies, and botnets: the saga of Perverted Justice

A computer programmer has been convicted of unleashing crippling attacks on and other websites after they published a humiliating account of him engaging in an adulterous online affair with a fictitious woman. Bruce Raisley, 49, was found guilty of a single count of launching a malicious program that infected …


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  1. solarian

    This guy... what the verb "pwnd" was invented for.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Awesome article but WTF he's facing 10 Years!?!?!?!?!?

    If the sentence was mostly for infecting 100,000 machines then OK, I get it - it's probably the equivalent of the time people like me had to spend troubleshooting and cleaning the machines of their less computer savvy friends and families... that's a trail of destruction that deserves revenge.

    ...but if it was for the Rolling Stone attack, f'ing come on now! People get less time for rape or other *real* attacks against *real* people/property.

  3. Wallyb132

    Whats with New Jersey?

    Why does every computer hacking, fraud or other type of computer related criminal case end up in New Jersey? I know that Jersey is considered to be New York's garbage can, but is it like the dumping ground for the whole eastern seaboard?

    If thats the case, no wonder New jersey natives who come to Arizona never admit where their from, it all makes sense now...

  4. Scarborough Dave

    Let this be a lesson to us all!

    Don't let things get so out of hand that we let leave of our common sense and allow things to escalate beyond sensible reason.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      re: let this be a lesson...

      "Don't let things get so out of hand that we let leave of our common sense and allow things to escalate beyond sensible reason."

      ...because if you do, it can only be more entertaining for the rest of us.

  5. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    While I feel for the man...

    Perhaps he should have known better.

    Firstly, perhaps how to look after his own life, and secondly given what he was doing before, the hazards of misplaced on-line trust.

    But this is easier said with hindsight, I guess.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Daily Star

    This is one of the most unpleasant, tawdry things it has ever been my displeasure to read on this site.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer

      Me too!

      But it's just like two girls, one cup, you just can't help looking :-o

      Thanks Reg, keep up the quality articles, bet definitley keep throwing in some scat to the mix :-D

    2. Anonymous Coward


      not been trying hard enough, then.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Von Erck - what??

    OK so Raisley was a fool to go launching a bot attack. But scroll back to the source of all the angst - the falling out between Raisley and Von Erck. WTF was that about? They had a fight, Von Erck wanted some notion of revenge and set up sting? It's insane. Crazy folk.

    1. Gav


      All this illustrates is that more often than not, self-appointed vigilantes are people with several 'issues' of their own. It's these personal issues that are doing the driving, not a zeal to bring criminals to justice.

      1. Eddie Edwards
        Thumb Up


        You're thinking of Batman, aren't you? ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Would the MPAA and RIAA...

    along with their indian sweatshop get the same treatment for their DDOS activities against torrent sites? Two wrongs don't make a right...

    1. Mike Flugennock

      re: two wrongs don't make a right...

      ...maybe not, but _three_ do!

      Boo yah!

  9. Eddy Ito
    Paris Hilton

    A bit extreme

    Both Raisley and Von Erck could do with a little growing up. I can't imagine anyone reading this and subsequently working with either of them.

    Paris because she is so much more mature than these two.

  10. Simpson

    What ever happened to?

    Just punching someone in the face?

    Clean, easy, over and done with.

    It also deters others from hatching complex plots designed to humiliate you (and the jail sentence is shorter too).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      punch to the face

      A single punch has the ability to kill. A single punch has killed on many occassions.

      If someone tries to punch you, assume its an attempt on your life.

      whatever happened to being in control of yourself?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        "Attempt on your life"

        Would you be claiming it as justification to shoot 'em, then?

        1. The Jase


          We are not allowed firearms in this country.

          It would mean reasonable force would be something to stop the attack. if that means breaking a knee or shattering a wrist, then so be it.

          Fighting is for idiots.

      2. Gilbert Wham

        Okay then,

        how about a swift kick in the nuts?

        1. F111F


          Are there rules in this fight? Ala Paul Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Great movie, btw.

      3. Simpson

        fatal punch

        "A single punch has the ability to kill. A single punch has killed on many occassions."

        Aspirin kills too.

        Aspirin fixes people with headaches.

        A punch often fixes people who are assholes.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        OK, A wet letuce leaf then!

        Or a sweaty sock or throw a shoe at them...

        The original poster may have been suggesting that the pillocks needed some form of creative instant response along the lines of a punch in the mouth. Or may be he was advocating violence?

        I know this goes against the dictum 'that revenge is a dish best tasted cold' but if you are going to take revenge (and the thrust of Raisley's offence wasn't revenge on von Erck) then do something that isn't criminal or don't get caught.

  11. Big Al
    Paris Hilton


    ... the guy who deliberately (and successfully) set out to ruin his marriage through lies and deceit doesn't even get a slap on the wrist. Is it me, or is there something morally wrong there somewhere?

    Paris coz she'd love all the media coverage anyway.

    1. h 6
      Paris Hilton


      Morally wrong, yes. But did Erk break any laws? That is the question.

      1. Johan Bastiaansen

        Did Von Erk break any laws?

        Isn't pretending to be someone else illegal?

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Only if it's identity theft

          Von Erk (great supervillian name there) merely pretended he had a different name and gender. And, well, a lot of other things no doubt, but in principle it's no different from a man pretending to be a brain surgeon to get a woman into bed. Jerky but, no, not illegal.

        2. Maty

          if it is ...

          the acting profession is in trouble.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      @meanwhile - but it takes two to Tango...

      The marriage would have been just as destroyed had it been a real woman not a faked id... No-one forced the guy to indulge in an on-line relationship and abandon his marriage: his own little ego, lust and hormones are entirely responsible. Sure he gains extra humiliation because the person who was proposing to junk his wife for didn't exist, but I can't see it changes the betrayal of the wife...

      Girls: would it make it better or worse if the slimy sob that walked out on you did so for a fake? Obviously better from the point of view that he looks like a complete idiot as well as a cheater, but is the effect on your feelings any different?

      Anon, because I don't want to be next on his hitlist!

    3. foxyshadis

      If he hadn't bitten, nothing would have happened

      Which points to the man having bragged in the past about getting away with things or wanting to start up a private online affair. How else could his partner have known the perfect attack vector? The only people who can ever set out to ruin someone's marriage are the two spouses, it's not an outside party's fault if one wants to give in to temptation.

      I wouldn't expect something this tawdry and sleazy from the pervertedjustice fellas. Bravo.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        tawdry and sleazy

        "I wouldn't expect something this tawdry and sleazy from the pervertedjustice fellas..."

        Knowing what I know about them and their reputation -- I would _totally_ expect nothing _but_ tawdriness and sleaze from these guys.

    4. Jonathan 10

      I agree but....

      Did this other chappy break the law? Possible libel and/or slander case, but aren't they civil not criminal?

      Still bloody harsh though, but you'd think he'd want something a bit more concrete and real before he threw his life away. Like maybe a few actual dates first?

  12. neverSteady


    Raisley should have taken the legal route, and it would be Von wossiname in jail now.

  13. ratfox
    Thumb Down

    People who organize sting

    This does nothing to raise my opinion of people who try to entrap others, whatever the crime is.

    There is a fine line between trying to catch predators by posing as a victim, and encouraging people to break the law so you can snitch on them.

  14. Johan Bastiaansen

    People who organize a sting

    There are 3 kinds of people, those who can count, and those who can't...

    Actually there are 2 kinds of people, those who hold themselves to a higher standard, and because of that feel they are entitled to organize a sting for everybody else.

    And those who hold themselves to a higher standard and think this should show in their actions.

    And then there are those who don't hold themselves to a higher standard. Oh wait...

    1. Mike Flugennock

      3 kinds of people

      "There are 3 kinds of people, those who can count, and those who can't...

      Actually there are 2 kinds of people, those who hold themselves to a higher standard, and because of that feel they are entitled to organize a sting for everybody else..."

      Our main weapon is fear -- fear and surprise... our two main weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency -- THREE... our THREE main weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    they should be known as

    Von Berck and Failey

  16. ninja squirrel

    Mwhooahh-ha-ha-ha haaaa

    Am I the only one wondering whether Von Erck actually set up the botnet attack himself to frame Raisley - as the next stage of his Revenge??

    The guy has got to be an evil genius, the name is such a give-away.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    seems thin

    That Erk guy sounds clever. Clever enough to chuck an incriminating USB stick through an open window?

  18. Jamie Kitson

    AKA Frank Fencepost?

    I know I shouldn't be trying Wikipedia for more details, but it has nothing on "Bruce Raisley", however it does reference a "Frank Fencepost" in the PJ article.

  19. Elmer Phud

    The biter bit

    "When Raisley was eventually persuaded to leave his wife and begin a new life with his online lover,"

    He must have been so proud of himself, posing as kids on line to trap potential kiddiefiddlers -- then fell for the same sort of trick.

    solarian-- yup 'pwnd ' is spot on. Somehow there is an air of arrogance detected, a wee bit of 'holier than thou' from the guy.

  20. Tron Bronze badge

    America... why didn't he just sue Von Erck for damages? The guy destroyed his family and committed acts of online fraud etc. Surely a half decent lawyer would have cleaned out Von Erck financially and had him doing a bit of community service. Justice.

    Agreed that prison time for online crimes is getting silly and disproportionate. A few clicks, copying some files and a bit of downtime can get you longer in jail than if you beat up dozens of pensioners or tortured, raped and murdered someone. A year of terrorising their community and all most yobs get is an ASBO. This is ridiculous. Tabloid-led justice and the sort of thing you get when members of the judiciary are elected. They abuse the legal system, treating the judicial process as a part of their re-election campaign.

    It happens here too, which is worrying. You expect such lunacy from America, but you'd hope for better over here.

  21. The Other Steve

    It's the story that keeps on giving.

    It just has everything, vigilantes, pron, life destroying Internet sock puppetry, CERT pwnage. When does the movie come out ?

    On a more human note, ten years ? Seriously ? And as for Von Erck, well, turnabout is fair play. It's two AM, the cops are at your door, do you know what's on YOUR hard drive ?

    What a pure unmitigated bastard of a man.

    1. foxyshadis

      He'll be out on parole within 18 months, perhaps even 6

      Isn't prison overcrowding wonderful?

  22. Bernard M. Orwell

    I don't want pictures. Or a title. Thanks.

    These worthless examples of humanity clearly all deserve each other. Merely glancing at 'perverted justice' and 'to catch a predator' tells me all I need to know to determine that I don't want to know anymore. Let them keep their sordid lives to themselves.

  23. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Perverted Justice, eh ?

    Well they sure fit together, these two. The pervert and the vengeful nerd. I think they both need professional help as well.

  24. Jim_aka_Jim

    10 years?

    In the grand scheme of things, no amount of jail time is going to stop him from being a moron.

    Standing at the airport with flowers for the first meeting? How can he not have been suspicious? Being so disconected from reality, he could probably go for the insanity plea.

  25. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Now what about the 100 000 people whose PC's were screwed?

    Bet no one is going to go out of their way to do *anything* about those.

    1. Herbert Meyer

      did nothing ?

      The guy who did it is sentenced to 10 years in prison for it. That's the headline for the article. He is going up for hacking their computers, not being an idiot. The idiot part is what makes the story interesting. If you send up people for stealing credit card numbers, this guy should go up for his crimes.

      Wadda want, send him to each and every victim's computer to scrub it ?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        @Herbert Meyer

        "The guy who did it is sentenced to 10 years in prison for it."

        That's a *potential* 10 years in prison.

        According to the article he's *due* to be sentenced on January 7th.

        Of course that would roughly 8 hrs for each PC.

  26. Mike Flugennock

    Getting a huge kick out of this, for some weird reason

    Even inasmuch as, like any decent person, I abhor the exploitation of children, still -- there's just something about both of these guys, a kind of indescribably skeezy vibe, that makes me somehow glad to see their whole operation imploding like this.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @Mike Flugennock

      "there's just something about both of these guys, a kind of indescribably skeezy vibe, that makes me somehow glad to see their whole operation imploding like this."

      I know. So wrong, yet *so* right.

      File under "Guilty pleasures"?

  27. Anonymous Coward


    Like to say it is the details that get you (namely, an unencrypted USB key?). But a botnet attack on particular articles are like painting a bulls eye on your chest for the plods. Not to speak of using control domains in your own name-- why not just, like, use the botnet to steal someone's domain, surely one of those 100K bots is owned by someone who is renting a domain?. Perhaps the conspiracy theorists are right, no one is smart enough to build and attack with a botnet and so dumb as to leave that big a trail of PlodBait (r).

    Oh well, only the dumb ones get caught. Or are successfully framed some Evil rck, whatever.

  28. James Woods


    I thought the US had a tough anti-bully stance. It would appear to me as if this guy was not only bullied but also attacked and whatever he did to a failed magazine would seem justifiable to me. The magazine served as a catalyst to spread the attack regardless of how many may have viewed the article. After all why would a magazine want to waste it's time with an article that nobody is going to read?

    As others have said, the riaa,mpaa get away with having their drones attack 'torrent' sites.

    We know how it all works, nobody cares about rolling stone.

    Unless of course your talking about our military generals who go to the magazine to express their feelings.

    Perhaps this is more of a military/government issue rather than about this guy.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "I thought the US had a tough anti-bully stance"

      AFAIK, the anti-cyber-bullying legislation that exists is on a state-by-state basis and I don't think New Jersey has any.

      Not sure if it matters - depends on how they wrote the law - but the reason for this legislation typically has been for the protection of minors, not adults. "It's for the children" and what not ;) I'd be curious if they wrote the laws with that in mind.

  29. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    "belonged to the Slovenian Computer Emergency Response Team"

    Slovenian CERT got pwn'd.

    Now that does have a certain *style*.

    Not too bright but definitely got style.

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