January 22nd, 2003, 10:07 AM
2 years for Hacking
Two years jail for UK virus writer who infected 27,000 PCs, Sophos reacts
Simon Vallor, the twenty-two year old web designer from North Wales who, in December 2002, pleaded guilty to writing and distributing three computer viruses, was today sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, London to a 2 year custodial sentence. His viruses - Gokar, Redesi and Admirer - were proven to have infected 27,000 PCs in 42 countries.
"Vallor's actions were comparable to those of a vandal gaining illegal entry to businesses across the world and then interfering with thousands of their PCs. His sentence reflects the severity of his crime and it's reassuring to computer users that the UK courts are treating cybercriminals on a par with more traditional offenders," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. "Around 800 new viruses are cropping up each month - this level of activity requires a lot of virus writers. Perhaps Vallor's sentence will focus some minds and make virus writers think twice before unleashing their malicious code."
Not all countries are treating cybercriminals in the same manner as the UK courts. For example, in The Netherlands in 2001, the author of the Anna Kournikova worm received a punishment of just 150 hours community service, even though his worm spread much quicker and further than Vallor's three viruses combined. Sophos is therefore calling for an internationally agreed approach to charging and sentencing virus writers.
"Viruses know no geographical bounds so the law governing them should reflect this. At the moment, legal systems across the world seem to have widely different views on the seriousness of cybercrime," continued Cluley.
Experts at Sophos's virus lab found that Vallor's Redesi worm - which posed as a message from Microsoft warning of cyber-terrorists following the September 11th attacks - attempted to delete data from infected users' hard drives. His Gokar worm also had a malicious payload - it attempted to overwrite the main page on the websites of infected companies.
Sentencing Vallor, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin said "Virus writers are not so-called computer buffs or nerds, they happen to be criminals... Their viruses cause destruction, disruption, consternation and even economic loss on a grand scale."
Taken from Sophos
I think two years is bit harsh isn’t it. I agree with Sophos, there needs to be an internationally agreed approach to charging and sentencing virus writers.
What do you think?
January 22nd, 2003, 10:54 AM
I've heard of the virus's but it was a long time ago. shows how slow the justice system is :P
- Trying is the first step towards failure. the moral is never try.
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----Homer J Simpson----
January 22nd, 2003, 11:30 AM
i think a crim is a crim, this wasn't a hack0r or someone breaking into a sys for da fun of it. this guy mad a virus and messed up a lot of comps. the only goal was to mess things up and it didn't benifit anyone so why shouldn't he get 2yrs?
January 22nd, 2003, 02:02 PM
Whether or not he was a ha><0r has noting to do with it. The fact is he could have destroyed many businesses just by screwing up thier puters. He's not a hacker at all. He's a cracker and should recieve a harsher sentence. Just my $0.02
If at first you don\'t succeed, try again. Then give up. There is no sense in being ridiculous about things!
January 22nd, 2003, 03:29 PM
a crime is a crime, et cet era...
Why does a Virii author write this malicous code, not many virii are profitable...
Do they feel like god or something, creating an artificial life form, hoping it survives for as long as possible... What makes people want to write this kind of software? Comments?
yeah, I\'m gonna need that by friday...
January 22nd, 2003, 03:41 PM
There should be a international law that deals with malicious attacks on computers. The only problem is that it would not be suported by all of the nations in the world. Also it would take a very long time to decide on what the proper punishment for these malicous attacks. Also would they make differant degrees of malicious attacks and would there be differant levels of punishment for each one?
1st Degree - Pure malicious intent. Crashed X number of computers. - 2yr in jail + fine
2nd Degree - Vandalized systems. Crachsed X number of computers. - 1yr in jail + fine
3rd Degree - Gained entrance into a system, did nothing else. Crashed X number of computers. - half a year in jail + fine
The fine would be the ammount of money that they cost the people they attacked plus $50.
Something like this would probably be supported by a lot of people. I doubt, however, that anything will ever be put into place internationaly.
To be God is to be Root, if someone is erking you just type: rm -d /home/heathen
January 22nd, 2003, 07:50 PM
Most of my friends agree with me when a cyber crime is just as despicable a physical crime. Case in point-what is different about someone who steals your data or who steals the files from your cabinet in your den while you are sleeping. Know the law and way the consequences against the gain!
the only way to fix it is to flush it all away-tool
January 22nd, 2003, 08:04 PM
I think to put him in a jail is a crime. He didn't do any crime if he wrote a virus to infect some thousand PC's because it is the responsibility of the PC's owner to protect their computers. I think everyone in this world have a liberty to act the way they want to act. And putting him in the jail is not the solution to solve the problem. I think instead to put him in the jail UK government should pay him some money to help them make some more secure anti-virus because he is the one who detected the loopholes of the PC's to spread the virus. I think I am not going to ban for this but it is just an thought if any one didn't liked it ,,,, it's not my fault I am just practicing my liberty of speech here so be kool everybody and chill out and think about it that hackers shouldn't go to jail because they are the backbone of Computer Science ,,, It is just my opinion.
January 22nd, 2003, 08:25 PM
I have a question; are you the bug, or the windshield?
January 22nd, 2003, 11:35 PM
Virus Writer gets 2 years
I do see the merit of virii, as should anyone who programs in assembler. HOWEVER, virii, if released, should never have a destructive payload. What is the point of wiping a hard drive, when you could do something that the world will see as a joke (hopefully). I doubt anyone will get really pissed finding that their computer plays a funny little song everytime the logon. Even doing something kind of annoying wouldn't be that bad. I'm currently working on a virus that will cause your CD drive to pop open at random. I am ALSO going to release the fix, with it. What do you guys think?
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