86% Believe Jailed British Hackers Should Have Received Harsher Sentence

A web poll of more than 330 business PC users, conducted by Sophos, has revealed that 86% believe the British virus writers, who were jailed last Friday, should have been dealt a harsher sentence by the authorities. Members of the Thr34t-Krew cyber crime gang, Andrew Harvey and Jordan Bradley were sentenced to six months and three months in jail respectively for causing unauthorised modification of computers with intent. Sophos believes that these results reflect businesses’ increasing intolerance towards those who commit computer crimes.

Only 3% of respondents believed that the sentence given by Newcastle Crown Court was too harsh. 11% deemed the punishment for creating the TKBot-A Trojan horse, which was designed to take control of internet-connected computers belonging to third parties, as fair.

“The fact that such a high percentage of respondents in our web poll think these hackers should have received a more severe punishment shows that businesses are sick to the back teeth of those who engage in computer crime,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “People are realising that malware authors are not geniuses engaged in some harmless mischief, but causing serious disruption to business systems, and should be dealt with seriously.”

Bradley, 22 and Harvey, 24, who pleaded guilty to the charges against them, conspired together, and with others, to break into innocent users computers and then send commands to the infected machines.

“The fact that these young men operated through the virtual environment doesn’t make this illegal intrusion less real or less potentially damaging,” continued Cluley. “They were fully aware of their destructive actions and a harsher sentence would have sent a stronger message to all who write computer viruses, worms and Trojans.”

Sophos continues to recommend that computer users ensure their anti-virus software is up-to-date, and that companies protect themselves from similar threats to those posed by the Thr34t-Krew, with a consolidated solution which can defend them from the threats of viruses, spyware and spam.

Further information can be found at: http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/articles/krewpoll.html

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