The suspected author of the infamous Anna Kournikova worm is to face prosecution in the Netherlands

Jan de Wit is suspected of being “OnTheFly”, the author of the Kournikova worm. It is alleged that he identified himself as the worm’s creator after it infected thousands of computers across the globe in February.

De Wit is due to appear in court on September 12th charged with spreading information via a computer network with the intention of causing damage. According to Dutch authorities the maximum sentence he could receive is either 6 months imprisonment or a fine of 100,000 guilders, equivalent to over Â?27,000.

The Anna Kournikova worm (also known as VBS/SST-A) arrives as an email attachment which claims to be an image of the glamorous Russian tennis star from which it takes its name. However, once launched the file launches a viral Visual Basic Script that forwards itself to the contacts listed in your Microsoft Outlook address book.

“Virus writing is not a game,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. “Computer viruses have the potential to cause untold amounts of damage and do not discriminate in who they hit. Virus writers should take this as a warning – the authorities are taking their activities more seriously and are prepared to take decisive action. If you don’t want to end up in court, don’t write and distribute viruses.”

More details on the Anna Kournikova worm can be found at: http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/analyses/vbsssta.html

Graham Cluley is available for comment on: +44 (0) 1235 544114




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