Forwarded from: Marjorie Simmons <lawyerat_private> http://www.smh.com.au/cgi-bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?path=/articles/2002/11/02/1036027090587.html By Patrick Gray November 5 2002 The creator of the Anna Kournikova Internet worm, Jan De Wit, lost an appeal against his conviction in a Dutch court last week. He was sentenced to 150 hours of community service in September, 2001 for creating and releasing the worm. De Wit, aka OnTheFly, had appealed because he was afraid that a conviction would adversely affect his career. The primitive e-mail-based worm spread like wildfire in February, 2001, infecting hundreds of thousands of computers. It arrived in an e-mail message promising raunchy pictures of the tennis star. If the recipient opened the attachment, temptingly titled "Anna Kournikova.jpg.vbs", the worm would activate, sending itself to everyone in the receiver's address book. De Wit isn't a master by anyone's definition. He used a pre-made kit to write the worm, and most hackers regard him as a script kiddie. Script kiddies are hackers who have little real knowledge of computer security, or more importantly how to bypass it. They rely on scripts and tools that real hackers have written. Even other hackers regard them as mere pests. The Kournikova worm was fairly harmless and caused no direct damage to the systems that it infected. It did, however, cause mail servers across the world to become congested and in some cases seize up completely. During the appeal, De Wit claimed that he was innocent of the charge laid against him because the worm did not cause any discernible damage to the infected systems. "Dutch law says there has to be damage in order for a conviction to occur, and there was no damage," said Theo Jansen, De Wit's lawyer. Jansen said his client did not mean to cause as much havoc as he did, and handed himself in to police when he realised the impact of what he had done. However, the prosecution did introduce at least some evidence of damage caused by the worm. Documents provided to the Dutch prosecution team by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation suggested that it had caused $US60,000 (about $A110,000) of damage among 55 affected organisations. But Jansen says the FBI "shook it (the damage figure) out of their sleeves" and that the FBI's explanation of how the amount was calculated was inadequate. During the trial, the court heard that De Wit had downloaded the virus toolkit he used to make the worm from the Internet. At the time that he released the worm, De Wit, who now works in a computer store, had just dropped out of his first year at university. His conviction will be permanently recorded, although he is still considering taking the matter to a higher court. - 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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