Suspected Author Of Randex Worm Charged in Canada

The Technological Crime Unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has charged a 16-year-old youth in connection with the Randex computer worm. PCs belonging to the youth are believed to have been seized, and a computer forensics team has analysed them for evidence.

The youth, who lives in the Mississauga area of Canada, is believed to have created the many different versions of the Randex worm which first appeared in the middle of 2003. According to the RCMP, more than 9,000 computers were infected by the worms.

“New versions of the Randex worm have been spreading and causing mischief for about a year now. Viruses are not harmless pranks; they cause real harm disrupting business and personal communications as well as destroying and stealing sensitive data. The Randex worms were no different, indiscriminately infecting innocent computer users,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “Computer crime authorities around the world are better equipped than ever at hunting down the perpetrators of hacking and virus crimes. Virus writers should be asking themselves whether it’s really worth taking the risk.”

The Randex worm broke into poorly protected computers, spreading via network shares and file-sharing systems such as Kazaa and LimeWire, and allowed remote hackers to control affected computers via Internet Relay Chat.

“Once a hacker has remote control of your PC they can use it for whatever twisted purpose they desire. For instance, they could read your confidential files, steal data, or launch thousands of spam messages from your computer,” continued Cluley.

In the past virus writers such as David L Smith, Simon Vallor and Christopher Pile have been sentenced to jail for damage caused by their malicious code. If the suspected author of the Randex worm is found guilty he may escape a similar punishment because of his age.

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