A Welsh virus writer has been sentenced to two years in prison for creating malware which infected thousands of computers around the world.
Simon Vallor, 22, wrote the 'Gokar' and 'Redesi' mass-mailing viruses, which are believed to have infected around 27,000 PCs in up to 42 different countries. Although the viruses barely made the news at the time, the level of infection was enough to convince the Southwark Crown Court that Vallor's actions were deserving of a custodial sentence.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Anti-Virus, said: "Vallor's actions were comparable to those of a vandal gaining illegal entry to businesses across the world and then interfering with thousands of their PCs.
"His sentence reflects the severity of his crime and it's reassuring to computer users that the UK courts are treating cybercriminals on a par with more traditional offenders. Perhaps Vallor's sentence will focus some minds and make virus writers think twice before unleashing their malicious code."
Vallor pleaded guilty to three charges of writing and distributing computer viruses after he incriminated himself by boasting of his actions in an internet chatroom.
Vallor was also charged with possession of child pornography, but these charges were dropped before today's sentencing.