RealTime IT News

Dutch Hacker Arrested for Onthefly Worm

Police in the Netherlands Wednesday arrested the man who claimed to have authored the Onthefly worm, also known as the Anna Kournikova virus.

The 20-year-old man, whose identity is protected under Dutch privacy laws, turned himself in to police in the northern town of Sneek after allegedly posting a letter on the Web Tuesday claiming he created the virus. He was detained on suspicion of damaging computer programs and property but has been released pending an appearance in court.

The Visual Basic Script worm, which posed as a JPEG of 19-year-old Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova, caused havoc Monday as it spread across the world dramatically slowing -- and in some cases crashing -- e-mail servers.

In the letter Tuesday, a person identifying himself as OnTheFly said "I admit to writing the virus...I never wanted to harm the people [who] open the attachment. But after all it's their own fault they got infected."

Prior to the man's confession, Excite@Home traced the virus to a Dutch subscriber.

In a statement, Dutch police said, "When it became clear what the virus was causing, and after consulting with his parents, he decided to turn himself in."

The Netherlands adopted legislation on online crime in 1999. Under the law, the man faces up to four years in prison.