[ISN] 'Unstable' Hacker Faces Jail Time

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 19 2001 - 23:56:04 PDT

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    By Alexander Boreiko 
    Jun. 20, 2001
    Leonid Kuznetsov may give up hard drives for hard time as the
    17-year-old faces up to three years in prison after being charged with
    unleashing a dangerous computer virus.
    Investigators say Kuznetsov sent the virus disguised as a
    password-selecting program to Marat Demin, a user of the Fido computer
    network, a forerunner to the Internet on which users often swap
    programs. In a statement, Demin says the virus wiped out all the data
    on his hard drive.
    Because Fido users make a direct connection with each other, Demin
    knew Kuznetsov's telephone number, so it was not hard for police to
    find him and conduct a search. Kuznetsov's computer was taken as
    evidence and files and outgoing codes of the virus were found on the
    hard drive.
    Kuznetsov confirmed that on Feb. 1 police confiscated his computer.
    The hearing against Kuznetsov is set to begin in the Lyublinsky court
    in Moscow. He will not be present after a psychological examination
    determined he is psychologically unstable.
    However, only sound-minded individuals can stand accused of committing
    a crime under Article 273 of the Criminal Code, which governs the
    creation, use and distribution of harmful computer programs.
    Those found guilty under Article 273 face prison sentences of up to
    three years. According to police departments responsible for
    investigating high-tech crimes, last year a total of 109 cases were
    opened against creators and distributors of viruses.
    Kuznetsov said that at an interrogation with investigator Dmitry
    Stasyuk on April 25, he was forced to sign an incriminating statement
    after initially refusing. He claims investigators used psychological
    "They forced me to sign the statement. They threatened that if I
    didn't, they'd give me seven years for banditry and another two or
    three for false statements. Then they called me in to the 68th
    precinct, where the officers frightened me and tried to force me to
    sign the statement," Kuznetsov said.
    Kuznetsov said he bought the hard drive with the virus texts at the
    Mitinsky market just before the processor was confiscated. Kuznetsov
    was subsequently sent for a psychological examination, after which he
    was declared unstable. He could face mandatory treatment at a
    psychological hospital.
    Kuznetsov said that only his mother, Tatyana, who was appointed his
    legal representative, knew the details of the case. The investigator
    told the accused that since he had been declared psychologically
    unstable, the court was not obliged to acquaint him with the case
    The Kaspersky Laboratories company, which specializes in anti-virus
    software, participated in the court examination and said Kuznetsov is
    the author of a multitude of viruses, all of which have wiped out
    programs on victims' hard disks.
    Kaspersky programmers say viruses of this kind are quite widespread on
    the Fido network and are concealed as useful programs.
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