Four charged with writing Fujacks

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 23, 2007

Malware authors and sellers appear in Chinese court.

Four men have appeared in a public court in Hubei Province, China, charged with writing, selling and spreading the W32/Fujacks virus and worm, often referred to as the 'Panda burning joss-sticks' virus in reference to the icon marking infected files in some variants.

The W32/Fujacks family of viruses and worms first appeared late last year and began garnering public attention in January. In mid-February eight men were arrested in connection with the malware, including self-confessed main author Li Jun, a 25-year-old resident of Wuhan City, which provided the names used by some Chinese security firms for his malware, 'Wuhan Boy' and 'Whboy'.

Li later wrote a removal tool, which Chinese police considered using to help in the cleanup effort. He claims he wrote the original virus 'for fun', but later made large profits selling his code on to others. It includes data-stealing capabilities, and thanks to the high infection rate of some variants poses a significantly higher risk in China, where filesharing on a large scale is very popular. Several variants of W32/Fujacks remain on the WildList.

Criminal prosecutions for creating and spreading malware are rare in China, but sentences could exceed five years in prison. More details on the charges are in the Shanghai Daily, here. Screenshots of the infamous panda icons, and commentary, are at Sophos here.

Posted on 23 August 2007 by Virus Bulletin

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