Throwback Thursday: Regina v Christopher Pile: The Inside Story & Off with his Head!

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Apr 30, 2015

This Throwback Thursday, we bring you not one but two (related) pieces from the archives as VB heads back to 1996 to look at events surrounding the issuing of the UK's first custodial sentence for writing and distributing computer viruses.

Over the last couple of years, the 'Throwback Thursday' trend has taken the Internet by storm, with social media users indulging in a weekly wallow in nostalgia. The VB team decided it was high time we got in on the act, using the opportunity to take a regular delve into our archives.

This week, we turn back the clock to early 1996: in November 1995, self-confessed virus writer Christopher Pile — author of the viruses Pathogen and Queeg and the encryption engine known as SMEG (Simulated Metamorphic Encryption Generator) — became the first person in the UK to be given a custodial sentence for writing and distributing computer viruses when he was jailed for 18 months. Jim Bates was the expert witness for the Crown and shared with VB the details of the process which led to the conviction. Meanwhile, then Editor of VB, Ian Whalley, wondered whether the punishment fitted the crime.

Read Jim Bates' article here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF; read Ian Whalley's comment piece here in HTML-format, or download it here as a PDF (no registration or subscription required).

Posted on 30 April 2015 by Helen Martin

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