The law may ignore the outcry from most people when it comes to the intrusiveness of malware and zombie bots, but when you take down a hospital they start to notice. So much, in fact, that recently a man from California has been put in jail for using a botnet that ended up taking down many systems in a Seattle, Washington hospital. Of course, it didn't help him either that some systems belonging to the Department of Defense were affected as well. Mr. Maxwell was a malware pusher, an activity that brought him in a significant amount of money. It came back to bite him in court, however:
Three victims testified at Maxwell's sentencing: a representative of Seattle's Northwest Hospital, damaged in February 2005; a representative of the U.S. Defense Department, which reported damage to hundreds of computers worldwide in 2004 and 2005; and a former system administrator for the Colton Unified School District in California, where more than 1,000 computers were damaged over several months in 2005.
Such a shame to go to jail so young for such pointless crimes, but you can't expect to attack hospitals and the DOD without repercussion. Every year, we are seeing more and more virus writers and spyware/adware/malware pushers being taken to court and even jailed.