Sober turns in child porn owner

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An alleged German child porn offender has turned himself in to authorities after mistaking an email sent by the Sober computer worm as an official warning that he was being investigated, media reports said.

The 20-year-old German man, who has not been named, mistook a message sent by the prevalent Sober-Z worm that claimed he was being investigated by Germany's federal crime office (known as the BKA) for visiting illegal websites. He then gave himself up to local police in the city of Paderborn, and was subsequently charged with indecency offences after police found pornographic pictures of children on his computer.

"We're used to explaining to people that there's no such thing as a good virus, but in this case it appears that the Sober-Z worm has accidentally scared an internet pedophile into contacting the police," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "If he had been scanning his email for viruses he would never have received the message from the Sober worm. If jailed he'll have plenty of time to reflect on whether he should have believed everything that was sent to him via email."

The Sober-Z worm, which is presently accounting for over 78 percent of all viruses reported to Sophos, can disguise itself as a message from investigators at the FBI, CIA or BKA. A typical email can read as follows:

"Dear Sir/Madam,
We have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal websites.
Important: Please answer our questions! The list of questions are attached.
Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison
Federal Bureau of Investigation-FBI-
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW , Room 3220
Washington, DC 20535
Phone: (202) 324-30000"

www.sophos.com

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