Posted by Virus Bulletin on Feb 14, 2007
Eight seized for writing and selling cuddly panda malware.
Eight men have been arrested in the central Chinese province of Hubei, on suspicion of involvement in the creation and spreading of the W32/Fujacks virus, also known as the 'Panda burning joss-sticks' virus thanks to the rather cute icons used by infected files.
In what is thought to be the first criminal case for malware writing in China, the men arrested include a 25-year-old from Wuhan province, thought to be the main writer of the virus code, and several others accused of adapting and disseminating the malware, which is thought to be designed mainly to steal online gaming data. Considerable sums of money are said to have been made from selling copies of the virus online.
The virus hit the headlines last month, mainly thanks to considerable hype in the Chinese media, which dubbed the outbreak a 'four-star virus' and a 'top computer killer'. More sober analysis has shown low levels of infection. Details are carried by Chinese news agency Xinhua, here.