News Release from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2007
Contact: Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121

Senate Passes Zaffirini's Bill to Protect Against "Botnets," Cybercrimes

Austin, TX -- The Texas Senate Thursday (April 26) passed Senate Bill 1009 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, which combats the use of "botnets" -- networks of compromised computers used to perpetrate cybercrime. Senate Bill 1009 will prohibit the creation of botnets and penalize convicted violators with significant fines.

"Botnets are being used by criminals around the globe to steal bandwidth from hijacked computers and make money from nefarious Internet activity," Senator Zaffirini said. "They are used primarily to send messages or software without the user's knowledge, to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users, to commit click fraud or to steal personally identifiable information. My bill combats the use of botnets by updating Texas' cybercrime statute and strengthening laws to protect valuable Texas e-commerce."

SB 1009 clearly will define the term "botnet" as a collection of computers that become compromised without the knowledge of the owner or operators. Compromised computers either run under a command and control infrastructure or are used to forward transmissions, including unsolicited e-mails and viruses, to other computers with online access. What's more, the bill would authorize civil penalties for using botnets, including a cause of action for victims, and provide injunctive relief and the recovery of actual damages or $500,000 per violation.

The bill must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to Governor Rick Perry for final approval. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free in-state hotline, 1-877-824-7038.

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