Ex-virus writer questioned over Slammer

Czech police have questioned former virus writer Benny over the Slammer worm, according to reports

Police are questioning Benny, a former member of the 29A virus writers' club, over the Internet worm Slammer.

According to Czech security news site viry.cz, police interviewed the 22 year-old, who lives in Brno, and confiscated computers from his home last Thursday.

"It seems that the police have questioned him about a virus that was really significant," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Benny has always said that he never released his viruses into the wild, so it will be interesting to see if any charges will be brought against him.

However, he has published his dangerous viral source code on the Internet which may have acted as an encouragement for others to cause damage.

Benny was recently employed by antivirus company Zoner software and has been the in media spotlight since his retirement from the 29A group in early 2003.

No link has ever been proved between Benny and Slammer, which temporarily crippled the Internet in January 2003. Cluley pointed out that some members of the 29A group had left this month. Members Ratter and dis69 resigned, while two weeks ago, Whale was found guilty in Russian courts of virus writing. Benny's blog has also disappeared from the Internet. Cluley said this could be because of increased police pressure on virus writers.

"[Benny's] Web log has vaporised," Cluley added. "Other members of 29A seem to be disintegrating, so with people being questioned they could be asked to squeal and reveal who the others are. [29A] is losing a lot of members this month. A lot of them will be feeling that the heat is on and that it's just not worth it."