A web poll of more than 600 business PC users, conducted by Sophos Anti-Virus, has revealed that 46% believe that yesterday's sentencing of Simon Vallor, the 22 year old found guilty of writing and distributing three malicious computer viruses, was not harsh enough. A further 38% of respondents agreed with Southwark Crown Court's decision to sentence Vallor to a two year custodial sentence. Just 16% felt this jail sentence was too severe.
61% of those surveyed believed a prison term was the most appropriate sentence for anyone who writes and distributes a virus. 14% stated that community service was the most suitable punishment.
"Businesses seem to have little sympathy for Vallor - indeed, almost half of the survey respondents indicated that his two year sentence wasn't tough enough," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus. "This hardline suggests companies must be completely cheesed off with cybercriminals."
Interestingly, 90% of those surveyed indicated that - if their PC became infected with a virus - they would be willing to provide a statement to the police to help convict the virus author. However, this has not always happened in practice. Although Vallor's code was estimated to have infected 27,000 PCs, only one person came forward to make a police statement.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.