02:51 PM

FBI Subpoenas Arizona ISP In Sobig Probe

Easynews says it's cooperating with the bureau to find the person who uploaded the virus to a Usenet group hosted by the ISP.

The FBI has subpoenaed an Arizona Internet service provider believed to be the source for the original posting of the Sobig virus, a virulent E-mail virus that raised havoc last week among home and business computer users.

Easynews Inc. said Monday that it was cooperating with the FBI in trying to locate the person who uploaded the virus to a Usenet news group hosted by the ISP. The virus was disguised as an adult photo and was posted Aug. 18 through a home PC on a cable modem.

The computer had been hacked by an unknown user and the Easynews account was created with a stolen credit card, apparently for the sole purpose of uploading the virus, said Michael Minor, chief technology officer for the Arizona ISP. The FBI requested information related to the bogus account used to upload the virus.

FBI officials were not immediately available for comment.

The virus, dubbed Sobig.F, is considered one of the most virulent mass-mailing viruses ever. The malevolent program infected hundreds of thousands of computers and sent millions of virus-carrying E-mails across the Internet, clogging home E-mail boxes and slowing business networks.

Sobig.F., the fifth variant of the original Sobig virus sent in January, struck a week after a separate virus, dubbed Blaster, wreaked havoc among computer users globally. Both viruses only affected computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

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