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8 Arrested in Computer Virus Case
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Chinese police yesterday arrested eight suspects thought to be involved in producing and distributing a powerful computer virus, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Police said it was the first such case in China relating to the spread of computer viruses. 

Li Jun, a 25-year-old hacker from Wuhan, in central China's Hubei Province, is accused of creating the virus 'Xiongmao Shaoxiang' (panda burns joss-sticks). The virus has hit millions of computers in the country since November 2006.

He told police he programmed the virus on October 16, 2006 and made more than 100,000 yuan (US$13,000) selling it via the Internet to over 120 people by himself and through agents.  

Li also created three other viruses and all of them have caused havoc within China's Internet communities.

Apart from Li, five of the other seven suspects with an average age of 23 are accused of mutating and spreading various computer viruses including 'Xiongmao Shaoxiang'.

Based in different areas of China including Shandong and Zhejiang provinces the five major suspects are also charged with making money illegally by stealing the accounts of computer games on QQ. This is an online chatting tool similar to ICQ.

Xiongmao Shaoxiang, officially named Worm_Viking, is said to be the worst virus of the past four months, according to the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center.

An infected computer will display a blue screen, go through frequent automatic restarts and lose hardware data. All its files are shown as a panda icon. The virus also features a Trojan horse program which can steal the passwords of computer users.

Police began investigating the virus in the middle of January with officers from over 10 regions joining forces to solve the case.

(China Daily February 13, 2007)

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