http://rtnews.globetechnology.com/servlet/ArticleNews/tech/RTGAM/20020919/gttorn/Technology/techBN/ Reuters News Agency September 19, 2002 London - Police arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of writing the malicious "T0rn" virus that attacked Linux computer systems, the culmination of a year-long joint investigation involving British and U.S. authorities. A spokesman for Scotland Yard told Reuters Thursday that officers from its Computer Crime Unit working with the FBI arrested the man Tuesday at his home in Surbiton, southwest of London, as part of an investigation into the writing and distributing of the bug. "Computer equipment was seized from a residential property and a 21-year-old man was arrested under the Computer Misuse Act 1990," he said, adding that the man was released on bail pending further police investigation. The arrest of virus writers is a rare victory for law enforcement, and police have hailed this case as an important step in the war against cyber crime. Police would not immediately identify the man or release further details. T0rn, which later was modified by a Chinese virus-writing group to create another worm known as Lion, circulated in the digital wild for much of 2001, but did relatively little harm. Computer security experts consider T0rn to be the first Trojan horse-style virus — meaning it masquerades as legitimate software — written expressly to harm Linux users. T0rn was not as menacing as the Code Red, Sircam and Nimda worms and viruses, which caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to corporate computer networks worldwide last year. T0rn targeted computer users with Linux-based software systems, a much smaller segment of the computing market. "As far as I recall, it never appeared on any of our top-10 most active virus lists," said Graham Cluley, senior technical consultant with the British antivirus software maker Sophos. Nevertheless, the law-enforcement and computer security communities regard the arrest as significant. A combination of factors, including the lack of computer security laws in most countries, inexperienced police units, plus an unwillingness to get corporate victims to co-operate with investigations, has resulted in few successful prosecutions — though more arrests have been logged of late. In Britain, the virus writer is something of a dying breed. "It isn't completely dead, but we're not seeing much of it," Mr. Cluley said, adding that most forms of malicious code typically are written in the relatively lax legal regimes of South America, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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