|Sergey Kazachkov was found guilty of distributing
over 4000 viruses.
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have welcomed
the sentencing of a man who not only created his own malware, but
ran two websites distributing over 4000 different computer
Sergey Kazachkov, a Russian science university student from
Voronezh, was found guilty of making available thousands of pieces
of malware via two virus exchange websites. He was also said to
have created and spread his own malicious software.
"Kazachkov was playing a dangerous game by running a website
which helped spread viruses designed to cause harm to the data of
innocent computer users," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant at Sophos. "It's excellent news that he has
been convicted and the websites shut down, but his punishment is
little more than a slap on the wrist. Cyber crime is getting more
and more serious and causes horrendous problems for businesses, so
a stronger message must go out to those behind these crimes that it
won't be tolerated."
Kazachkov has been given a two year suspended sentence, and will
have to abide by conditions laid down by the court during a one
year probation period.
"This isn't the first time the Russian authorities have cracked
down on those who make viruses available on websites," continued
Cluley. "In November 2004, a member of the international 29A
virus-writing gang was found
guilty of posting virus source code on underground malware
Some headlines in the Russian media have claimed that Sergey
Kazachkov has been identified as the author of the infamous
Chernobyl virus. However, this is incorrect and the wrong
assumption appears to have been made because Chernobyl was one of
the viruses available from Kazachkov's websites. The real creator
of the destructive Chernobyl virus (also known as CIH) was Chen
Ing-Hau, a Taiwanese student who was detained
by the authorities in 2000.
Sophos continues to recommend that companies protect their email
with a consolidated solution to thwart the
virus, spyware and spam threats as well as secure their desktop and
servers with automatically updated anti-virus protection.