Welsh virus writer pleads guilty to infecting 27,000 PCs

December 20, 2002 Sophos Press Release

Simon Vallor

Simon Vallor, a 21 year old web designer from Llandudno, North Wales, has today pleaded guilty to charges, under section three of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, of writing and distributing three mass-mailing computer viruses.

Vallor has admitted to releasing the Redesi, Admirer and Gokar worms, the last of which made Sophos's top ten of most encountered viruses in January 2002. The prosecution stated that Vallor's Gokar worm infected 27,000 computers in 42 different countries across the world.

Vallor, who keeps an online diary on his personal website, www.devilwithin.com, posted this message on 18th December, in the run up to today's appearance at Bow Street Magistrate's Court, London: "I have to catch a train to London tomorrow to be in court on Friday morning. Hopefully I'll get bailed again to appear in front of crown after New Years, I'd obviously wish for a suspended sentence but I thinks thats asking too much. Just in case I do get sentenced, remember this: Mundis vult decipi, ergo decipaitur. I can't say everything has been good in this life, a few laughs, a few jokes, a few drinks and a few smokes ... I have regrets, but I don't regret being me. Hopefully this isn't goodbye from the Devil Within .... see you in hell."

"Vallor's website reveals he pretty much fits the profile of a typical virus writer - he is young, techie and preoccupied with female nudity," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "We're beginning to see more cyber-prosecutions which is good news for businesses and home computer users alike. Writing and distributing viruses is a serious crime - the cost of clearing up 27,000 infected computers in terms of lost man hours is substantial."

Vallor was also charged with possession of child pornography, although these charges have been dropped. He is due to be sentenced in the New Year.