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3/7/2005
01:28 PM
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Virus Writers Laugh At Laws

Virus writers have little to fear and know they can practice their craft with near impunity.

Virus writers have little to fear, a security firm said Monday, and know they can practice their craft with near impunity.

The most recent Bagle explosion "shows once again how helpless legislation is in the face of cybercrime," said Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs in a statement posted to its security site. "Cybercrime laws are local, and are specific to individual countries. But virus writers aren't constrained by national boundaries."

In particular, the plague of Bagle variants has Kaspersky researchers convinced that the authors of several worm families are in cahoots.

"It's become clear that the authors of Bagle, Netsky, Zafi, and a whole range of other malicious programs are working closely together. They may not know each other personally, but they're all using information from the author of Bagle to send out their creations."

Kaspersky cited the large number of Bagle variants that appeared in a matter of days as proof that virus writers aren't afraid to either cooperate or of any legal retribution.

"In just the past two days, over 50 modifications of worms and other malicious programs have been widely distributed by these virus authors. And the timing of the mailings shows that the malicious code is being sent either automatically or semi-automatically," said Kaspersky.

This move toward automation, said Kaspersky, demonstrates that hackers "understand that legislation is powerless to stop them, and are continuing to extend their reach.

"This latest case is another nail in the coffin of a safe, user-friendly Internet."

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