Randex author charged

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A 16-year-old virus writer was given a six-month suspended sentence at the South Cheshire juvenile court in Crewe last Thursday for releasing a worm that infected computers and turned them into spam relays.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted of his part in distribution of the Randex virus. "Randex was a big nuisance," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "It pleasing that he has been stopped, but it is worrying that kids are involved in this sort of thing."

The prosecution comes at the end of an international operation to capture four virus writers involved in Randex's creation. Two Americans and a Canadian have also been collared.

The Canadian, from Mississauga near Toronto, was sentenced to eight months in a youth detention centre in May and is believed to be Randex's original author.

"Randex was particularly harmful," said Cluley. "Regardless of age we like to see action against virus writers. Perhaps this will serve as a deterrent to others."

Randex is a network worm that allows a remote intruder to access and control the computer via IRC channels. It forms, via a backdoor, a network of compromised computers capable of distributing spam, malicious code, or denial of service attacks.


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