The US Department of Justice has announced that a juvenile was
arrested in late September in connection with the release of a
computer worm that spread in the same way as the Blaster worm.
The W32/RpcSpybot-A worm
exploited a flaw in Microsoft's Windows operating system, in an
attempt to break into vulnerable computers.
John McKay, US Attorney for the Western District of Washington
said in a statement that the virus author was right to be
apprehended, regardless of their age. "Computer hackers need to
understand that they will be pursued and held accountable for
malicious activity, whether they be adults or juveniles," he
"An increasing number of worms are exploiting vulnerabilities in
Microsoft's software," said Graham Cluley, senior technology
consultant for Sophos. "Computer users need to put in place a
system for ensuring they are up-to-date with all security patches.
Meanwhile, anyone considering writing malicious code should think
very carefully about the possible legal consequences."
The arrest follows a series of other developments in the battle
between the computer crime authorities and suspected virus authors.
Recently a man in Romania was charged in connection with
the W32/Blaster-F worm, and a youth from Minneapolis pleaded not guilty to charges
in connection with W32/Blaster-B. Meanwhile, two British men have
appeared in court
regarding a Trojan horse.
The Justice Department said that the juvenile, whose name and
gender had not been released because of his or her age, was
arrested on Friday 26 September.