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Court indicts 'Blaster' virus creator

Date: January 23, 2004

BUCHAREST, Romania (APOnline) A Romanian court has indicted a graduate student on charges of distributing a variant of the computer-crippling "Blaster" Internet virus, authorities said Thursday.

Dan Dumitru Ciobanu, 25, was accused of producing the Romanian version of the worm and infecting 27 computers at a university in northeastern Romania, said Mihaela Butuca, a court spokeswoman in the city of Iasi, 250 miles northeast of Bucharest.

The Dec. 10 indictment alleges that Ciobanu created a "severe disturbance" in the computers. The charges carry a penalty of 15 years in prison.

His trial begins Jan. 27 and he is not in custody.
Romanian authorities identified the worm in September, about a month after the original version and other variants of Blaster had crippled hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide and forced Maryland's motor vehicle agency to close for a day.

Like many other viruses, Blaster took advantage of a flaw in the Windows operating system. It caused computers to mysteriously shut down and restart.

Authorities in the United States have charged two youths with creating Blaster variants.
Romania has had little experience in prosecuting computer crimes, in part because authorities enacted a cybercrime law only last year.

Original article

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