View Full Version : *worm Writers Arrested For Lovsan Variants

09-08-03, 07:15 PM
Authorities have arrested two men for allegedly writing Lovsan worm variants, but the creator of the original worm remains at large.

Jeffrey Lee Parson, 18, is accused of writing Lovsan.B, which spread to about 7,000 systems. Dan Dumitru Ciobanu, a Romanian university student, was arrested for allegedly writing another variant of the worm. Instead of targeting Microsoft's Windows update page, Lovsan.F targeted a Romanian university site.

Yet it was Lovsan.A that infected hundreds of thousands of systems. Its writer hasn't been apprehended. In fact, most virus and worm writers don't get caught. For every high-profile arrest, there are a plenty of other examples of writers getting away with it.

"Virus writers are not going to be deterred by [arrests]. The burden of protecting systems, whether it's fair or not, is going to continue to fall on your IT staff," said Mark Rasch, a former head of the Department of Justice's computer crime unit and now senior vice president and chief security counsel of Solutionary.

Experts believe the author of the first Lovsan worm used publicly available exploit code for the worm. Essentially, the writer tweaked the exploit code enough that it wouldn't trip off filters, but it didn't add really add to it, said Mikko Hypponen, manager of antivirus research for Helsinki, Finland-based F-Secure Corp. "It wasn't particularly advanced; probably written by a kid."

Yet Lovsan was hardly child's play. The worm cost companies an estimated $1.3 billion in damages and lost productivity.

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