[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Zotob virus writers face prison
Windows 2000 box, AP
Windows 2000 is widely used in many large companies
The creators of the Zotob Windows worm have been given jail sentences by a Moroccan court.

The two men behind the malicious program, Farid Essabar and Achraf Bahloul, were caught soon after the virus struck in August 2005.

The pair faced charges of conspiracy, theft, using forged credit cards and illegal access to computers.

Zotob caught out high-profile firms such as CNN, the Financial Times and the New York Times.

The worm targeted Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system which is widely used by many large companies.

About 100 companies, including heavy plant maker Caterpillar, reportedly suffered computer problems as a result of the Zotob worm.

At news firm CNN the worm disrupted the station's live reports. Computers infected by the worm fell into a cycle of constant re-starts.

The authorities caught up with the pair less than a fortnight after the virus struck and many anti-virus experts were surprised that they were based in Morocco. Mr Essabar now faces two years in jail and Mr Bahloul one year.

Mr Essabar is also thought to be behind a series of other viruses that targeted Windows computers.

The pair were thought to have worked closely with an accomplice in Turkey named by the FBI as Atilla Ekici.

Lawyers for the two men said they planned to file an appeal against their sentences.




SEE ALSO
Virus creators target their work
15 Nov 05 |  Technology
Money motive drove virus suspects
05 Sep 05 |  Technology
Two detained for US computer worm
26 Aug 05 |  Technology
Windows 2000 bug starts virus war
18 Aug 05 |  Technology
Windows 2000 worm hits US firms
17 Aug 05 |  Technology



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific