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Police question man over Slammer worm

Czech police question former member of 29A virus writers club over the Slammer worm.

Czech police have questioned a former member of the 29A virus writers club over the Internet worm Slammer.

According to Czech tech security Web site, police interviewed 22 year-old "Benny" who lives in Brno and confiscated computers from his home on 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 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 proven 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. Meanwhile, 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 vaporized," 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."

Dan Ilett of ZDNet UK reported from London.