A Year Ago: FBI goes after worm creator

First published: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 09:26:09 GMT

The FBI has issued an updated statement concerning the new ExploreZip computer virus. After warning that the virus has the potential to cause "significant damage to private sector and US Government computer systems," the statement reaffirms the agency's intent to pursue Explore's creator.

"Transmission of a malicious code is a federal criminal offense and the FBI is aggressively investigating this matter," the statement said. "The NIPC is monitoring developments and coordinating field office investigations." The warning further urged all victims of ExploreZip to contact their local FBI field office.

Meanwhile, the virus has also spread to Europe, and has taken down servers at Microsoft, SBC, and General Electric. ZDNN has also discovered that the gaming company Electronic Arts has been hit; 25 percent of its Redwood City workforce were infected, and EA closed its office early Friday to minimise the damage to its network.

"As was the case with Melissa, the transmission of a virus can be a criminal matter, and the FBI is investigating," said Michael Vatis, the head of the government's National Infrastructure Protection Centre. Generally, experts say there are two approaches to finding the individuals behind a virus. If it's known where the virus originated -- or who its first victims were -- authorities may be able to trace back the first case to its source.

There may also be clues to the writer's identity in the code for the virus itself. Two antivirus experts, Symantec's Eric Chien and Dan Schrader at Trend Micro, agreed today that it won't be easy to catch this virus writer.

Take me to the Melissa Virus special.

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