UK Hacker faces five years in jail

Date 21-Jan-2003 8:41:13
Topic: Miscellaneous News


A computer hacker who admitted infecting thousands of computers across the world with fast-spreading viruses is facing five years in jail.
Simon Vallor, 22, created the bugs at his home in Llandudno, north Wales, and released them on to the internet.

The "mass-mailer" viruses were sent as e-mails that would corrupt data on the computer's hard-drive when they were opened.

In addition, the viruses were automatically sent to everyone on the computer's address book.

Subject lines

Vallor is thought to have seized-up 27,000 computers and caused mayhem in 42 countries with bugs dubbed 'Gokar', 'Admirer' and 'Redesi'.

He made the e-mails tempting to computer users by using subject lines such as: "You have a secret admirer."

The DJ and web designer is being sentenced on Tuesday at London's Southwark Crown Court, and could get up to five years in jail.

The court is expected to hear that Vallor was caught when he boasted of his viruses on internet chat rooms.

Charges dropped

Vallor has admitted three charges of writing and releasing computer viruses onto the internet on or before 14 February last year.

A further charge of possessing indecent images has been dropped.

The most destructive computer viruses spread rapidly, usually using e-mail to jump from machine to machine.

- In 1999, Melissa struck, forwarding itself to the first 50 addresses in the computer's Outlook address book

- In 2000, the Love Bug was released by a Filipino student, causing 18bn worth of damage

- In 2001, an attachment purporting to contain pictures of tennis star Anna Kournikova, infected millions of computers worldwide.



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