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10 Sep 2003

Romanian police charge Blaster-F worm suspect, Sophos Anti-Virus comments

Dan Dumitru Ciobanu is said to have admitted spreading the virus.

Romanian police have confirmed that a 24-year-old man has been charged with cybercrime offences related to the internet worm W32/Blaster-F. If found guilty, the man could face up a maximum of 15 years in prison under Romania's strict computer crime laws.

According to police, Dan Dumitru Ciobanu, admitted spreading the virus, but claimed that its release was accidental. Ciobanu is said to have claimed that the virus spread itself because he tested it while his computer was connected to the internet.

According to a police statement, Ciobanu admitted that he modified the original Blaster worm by switching filenames used by the virus, and inserting a piece of Romanian text into the code. The text, when translated into English, reads as follows:

"Don't go to the Hydrotechnics faculty!!! You are wasting your time... Birsan, your pension awaits!!! I urinate on the diploma!!!!!!"

"Some people may think only 'geniuses' are capable of writing viruses, however this is far from the truth," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "In the past we have seen some virus writers include their full name, address and job history inside their malicious code. If Ciobanu is found to be guilty, the vital clue may have been that a childish rant against a university lecturer was there for all to see."

Ciobanu is said not to be in custody, and no date has been set for his trial.

In late August the FBI arrested Jeffrey Lee Parson in connection with another variant of the Blaster worm.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

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