A web poll of 275 PC users found 60 percent of respondents think the jail sentence dished out to Jeanson James Ancheta wasn’t long enough.
Respondents to the poll, conducted by Sophos, felt that Ancheta’s 57 month jail sentence, the toughest ever handed out to a malware writer, was too soft.
Only 24 percent believe the punishment fits the crime, while just 16 percent feel it was too harsh.
The 21 year old Ancheta was recently imprisoned for seizing control of 400,000 PCs to install revenue-generating adware. Ancheta also sold access to the zombie network to others who wished to launch denial of service attacks and spam campaigns.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos said the results show there’s little love lost between PC users and cyber criminals.
“There is a distinct lack of sympathy from legitimate IT users for those people who try to make their lives harder. Ancheta's crimes caused distress and financial loss to thousands of individuals and companies," he said.
"The US justice system came down on him tougher than ever seen before, but still not enough for the majority of people."
Participants of the poll were also asked to suggest alternative punishments for virus writers. A common suggestion was that those convicted of cyber crimes should be banned for life from using PCs and other technology.
PC users wanted cyber criminals neutralised. Many felt the only way to achieve this was to deprive hackers and virus writers of technology for a long time, said Cluley.
Jail sentence for Malware writer not enough
By Staff Writers on May 12, 2006 3:09PM