May 1st, 2002, 08:39 PM
This article was taken from Yahoo
`Melissa' Virus Maker Gets 20 Months
The creator of the "Melissa" computer virus was sentenced Wednesday to 20 months in federal prison for causing millions of dollars of damage by disrupting e-mail systems worldwide in 1999.
David L. Smith, 33, pleaded guilty in December 1999 to a state charge of computer theft and to a federal charge of sending a damaging computer program. In the federal plea, both sides agreed the damage was greater than $80 million.
Smith is believed to be among the first people ever prosecuted for creating a computer virus. In court Wednesday, he called the act a "colossal mistake."
The Melissa virus, which struck in March 1999, was disguised as an e-mail marked "important message" from a friend or colleague. It caused computers to send 50 additional infected messages. The volume of messages generated slowed some systems to a crawl.
Smith could have faced up to five years in prison, but prosecutors suggested a term of about two years, saying he had given authorities extensive assistance in thwarting other virus creators. He was also fined $5,000 by U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr.
He is expected to get a similar prison term Friday when sentenced on a guilty plea to a state charge of computer theft.
Smith has said he created the virus on computers in his Aberdeen apartment and used a stolen screen name and password to get into America Online.
Smith was arrested April 1, 1999, after investigators for America Online provided authorities with evidence that helped trace the virus to Smith's phone number.
"My curiosity got the better of me, as I soon began to write the `Melissa Virus,'" he wrote in a letter to Greenaway. "It didn't take me too long as I borrowed a lot of the code from other viruses that I found on the Internet."
While admitting his actions were "immoral," Smith wrote that the virus did not delete or corrupt anyone's files or data, or harm any machines.
"It did result in clogged mail servers, which admittedly caused headaches and aggravation to many," he acknowledged.
May 1st, 2002, 08:53 PM
hahah, this kicks butt...same post from 2 different people at same time....
At least I don't have to click a link to see this one
\"Ignorance is bliss....
but only for your enemy\"
May 1st, 2002, 08:58 PM
Maybe FOX will make a new series. "When good nerds go bad".
Its not software piracy. Iím just making multiple off site backups.
May 1st, 2002, 09:12 PM
Hehe, I noticed that right after I posted this thread.
Some one beat me to it.
September 11th, 2002, 09:21 PM
ROFL "When good nerds go bad".