Russian virus distributor convictedMay 05, 2006
Sergey Kazachkov, of Voronezh in central Russia, former lead guitarist for Kazakhstan heavy metal band DLM turned science student, escaped jail after been convicted of running websites that distributed an estimated 4,000 different computer viruses.
Kazachkov has been given a 2-year suspended sentence, and will have to abide by conditions laid down by the court during a 1-year probation period.
Kazachkov was also said to have created and spread his own malicious software.
Some Russian reports claimed that Kazachkov created the infamous PC-thrashing Chernobyl virus. However, as anti-virus firm Sophos points out, Kazachkov only offered Chernobyl as a download along with numerous other items of malicious code. The author of Chernobyl was Chen Ing-Hau, a Taiwanese student, who was arrested by police in 2000 but never prosecuted.
The Kazachkov conviction is not the first time the Russian authorities have cracked down on those who make viruses available on websites.
In November 2004, a member of the international 29A virus-writing group was convicted of creating the Stepan and Gastropod viruses. Eugene Suchkov, from the little-known Russian republic of Udmurtia, posted live code for the viruses alongside the source code necessary to create variants onto a number of underground virus exchange websites. Neither of these viruses spread. Eugene (AKA Whale) was fined 3,000 roubles (then equivalent to approximately $105).