|Gabriele Canazza is suspected of having written the Vierika worm.|
Italian police have arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of writing the VBS/Vierika-A mass-mailing worm.
Gabriele Canazza, who lives in Bologna area, is believed to be the first suspected virus writer arrested in Italy. According to the Guardia di Finanzia di Milano, the Italian financial police, he is believed to be the same man who used the pseudonym "Krivoj Rog" when the Vierika email-aware worm was released earlier this year.
The Italian authorities have closed down what they believe to be the virus writer's website, and said in a statement that they believed it was possible that 1500 computers had been infected in the first 24 hours the worm spread.
Canazza is said to have a Ukranian female friend called Vierika, whose picture was published on his website.
"A strong message needs to be sent out to all in the virus-writing underground that what they are doing is irresponsible, and if their viruses infect innocent people's computers that they will be punished," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "All computer users should ensure their anti-virus defences are kept up-to-date."
Sophos recommends companies protect their email with a consolidated solution to thwart the virus and spam threats and secure their desktops and servers with automatically updated anti-virus protection.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.