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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Hackers jailed over global virus
Andrew Harvey, left, and Jordan Bradley
Andrew Harvey, left, and Jordan Bradley were arrested in 2003
Two hackers have been jailed for helping to create a virus that infected thousands of computers worldwide.

Andrew Harvey, 24, of Sherburn Village, Co Durham, was jailed for six months, and Jordan Bradley, 22, of Darlington, was jailed for three months, on Friday.

The men admitted a conspiracy charge in May this year for their part in creating what was called the T-K Worm.

It used internet chat channels to infect other computers which then gave the hackers control of them.

They were arrested in 2003 after a joint investigation by hi-tech crime officers in Britain and the US.

Young men, like you, have to be deterred from committing this kind of offence
Judge Beatrice Bolton

The men, who did not benefit financially from their actions, were part of a group called the Threat Krew".

Newcastle Crown Court heard how one police computer became infected with the worm and spread it to 19,000 other computers in two weeks.

Harvey, of Meldon Avenue, Sherburn Village, and Bradley, of Bates Avenue, Darlington, admitted conspiracy to cause unauthorised modification of computers with intent between 31 December 2001 and 7 February 2003.

The arrests were witnessed by officers from the US Computer and Technology Crime Hi-tech team which flew in from southern California.

'Motivated by power'

Adrian Waterman, prosecuting, told the court: "Harvey and Bradley, along with others, were doing what they do because of the control it gave them not with an end purpose in mind."

Robin Patton, defending Harvey, said: "The motivation for committing these offences was the power over computers rather than any nefarious purpose.

"It's one thing to want the power and its another to misuse it and neither defendant ever showed the slightest intention to be malicious."

Wayne Jackman, for Bradley, said: "Jordan Bradley does not paint the picture of the classic cyber criminal.

"He was playing online and this is where he finds himself now."

Judge Beatrice Bolton said: "It's to your credit that you did not use the worm for the dreadful purposes you could have but you demonstrated the power it had over a large number of computers.

"Young men, like you, have to be deterred from committing this kind of offence."

The T-K Worm affected computers using Microsoft operating systems.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear the extent of the damage caused by the virus



SEE ALSO:
Sentencing of hackers is delayed
30 Sep 05 |  England
Web worm suspects bailed
07 Feb 03 |  Technology


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