Turkish authorities identify 16 more suspects in Zotob case, Sophos reports

August 30, 2005 Sophos Press Release

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have welcomed the news that computer crime authorities in Turkey believe they have identified 16 more individuals, suspected of assisting in the Zotob and Mytob worm outbreaks.

Louis Reigel, assistant director of the FBI's cyber division, told delegates at the High-Tech Crime Investigation Association's annual conference about the news from Turkey.

Last week, 21-year-old Atilla Ekici, was arrested in Turkey. It is alleged that he paid Morrocan resident Farid Essebar to write the Zotob worms which disrupted high profile organizations around the world in August.

"Increasingly worms and viruses are being written to steal confidential data from innocent people's computers, hijack resources, or launch spam or denial-of-service attacks," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "As the authorities investigate more deeply into this case they are likely to uncover traces of communication and connections between different internet criminals. The arrests of two people last week could lead to the break-up of a much larger internet gang."

At the moment no further arrests have been announced.

"Anyone thinking of a career in electronic crime should consider very carefully whether it is really worth it," continued Cluley. "The authorities are keen to break up these gangs of cybercriminals and make the internet a safe place."

Sophos continues to recommend that companies protect all tiers of their organization - their desktops, servers and email gateways - with automatically updated anti-virus software to reduce the risk of infection.