Five Israeli teenagers have been charged with writing and spreading the Goner virus, which plagued computer systems globally last December.
Local Israeli newspaper The Ha'aretz reported that the five were charged at Haifa District Court with wilful damage to computers by deliberately writing and spreading a virus. High profile victims included NASA and Cisco.
As reported by vnunet.com in December, four Israeli youths were being held in connection with the spread of the virus.
But Meir Zohar, head of Israel's Police Computer Crime Squad, confirmed this week that five teenagers were being charged.
Names have not been released for legal reasons, but one of the minors has been charged with writing the code for Goner, while the others stand accused of disseminating it.
It is also thought that the group may be responsible for the creation of a low impact virus which was meant to target IRC chat rooms.
One expert suggested that the group may have been caught out by the message displayed by the virus, which identified the authors as 'ThE_SkuLL' and 'satan' and sent greetings to 'TraceWar', 'k9-unit', 'stef16', '^Reno' and 'nonick2'.
It is thought that the nicknames gave some of the perpetrators away.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said: "It could be that displaying this message was the key to their capture.
"Virus authors often use 'handles' or nicknames to hide their true identity. However, these can be valuable clues for computer crime investigators, acting like virtual fingerprints."
Zohar said that the suspects could face between three and five years in jail if convicted.
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