Sept. 23, 2010 — -- A computer programmer who launched a virus that infected about 100,000 computers and directed them to attack media outlets that republished stories about him was found guilty in federal court in New Jersey Wednesday.
Bruce Raisley, 49, was convicted on one count of a federal indictment that charged him with creating a malicious program that attacked computers and websites. He had been a volunteer for Perverted Justice, an organization that worked with the Dateline NBC television show "To Catch a Predator" to identify and apprehend pedophiles.
After a falling out with the group and its founder, Xavier Von Erck, Raisley became an outspoken critic of Perverted Justice and Von Erck, according to Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.
Von Erck retaliated by posing online as an adult woman named "Holly" and initiating an Internet relationship with Raisley. After a long web courtship that included x-rated instant messaging, Raisley agreed to leave his wife for "Holly," even locating an apartment where they could live together.
When he showed up at the airport, flowers in hand, to meet "Holly," however, his new girlfriend was nowhere to be found. Instead, a Perverted Justice volunteer took a photo of Raisley waiting forlornly with his bouquet. Von Erck then posted the picture on the web along with the text of a sex chat between Raisley and the imaginary "Holly."
When two popular magazines, Rolling Stone and Radar, published articles in 2006 and 2007 that discussed the TV show and its techniques and included references to the "Holly" sting, Raisley launched a virus designed to attack computers and web sites.