Jail Time for Worm Creators
Two students behind a pesky worm that wreaked havoc at more than 100 American companies, including media outlets CNN and the New York Times, are doing time behind bars.
Farid Essebar, 19, a science student from Morocco , was sentenced to two years in prison by a Moroccan court in mid-September. An accomplice, 22-year-old Achraf Bahloul, received a one year sentence.
A third man from Turkey has been charged with financing the attack, which disrupted more than a quarter of a million PCs in August of 2005.
"The court convicted the two men for conspiracy, theft, using forged credit cards and illegal access to computer systems," a court official said.
The Zotob worm mostly affected Windows 2000 systems, taking advantage of a bug in the operating system’s Plug and Play service that had been patched by Microsoft days earlier.
Spyware infections prompted almost one million U.S. households to replace their computers in the first half of 2006.
-Consumer Reports, State of the Net 2006
The total loss from all cases of fraud referred to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2005 was $183.12 million, with an average loss of $424 per complaint. This is up from $68 million in total losses a year earlier.
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Term of the Month
WORM - Did you know that WORM is an acronym for "write once, read many"? A computer worm is a self-replicating computer program, similar to a computer virus. Unlike viruses, however, worms self-propagate and so do not require other programs or documents to spread. Worms typically spread through e-mail or other file transmission capabilities found on networked computers.
Thanks for removing "VirusBurst" on my PC. I tried several ways to get rid of that low-down nag. Spybot had detected it, but wasn't able to kill it. HijackThis removed it - and it was still there. The next day there was an update for Ad-Aware. After this it was that easy!! No spyware, no virus. Good work. I appreciate your reliability.
R. Busch, Berlin, Germany, 25/09/06
A new report by an online security vendor shows that in August 2006, there were roughly 450 "adware families", with more than 4,000 variants.
Industry experts say that as the amount of new viruses and worms drop off, criminal malware is given room to rise. Spyware, Trojans and phishing are the cyber-crime of choice in 2006.