The author of one of the most destructive viruses in history - CIH - may face a jail sentence, despite escaping prosecution for more than a year.
When it struck businesses around the world last year, CIH, also known as the Chernobyl virus, caused millions of pounds worth of damage. The virus is believed to have affected 60 million computers worldwide.
Triggered on 26 April 1999 - the 13th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster - CIH was the first virus capable of paralysing your PC by damaging the bios chip, requiring it to be replaced.
Taiwanese Chen Ing-Hau, whose initials name the virus, was named as the author more than a year ago, but the authorities in Taiwan were unable to charge him because no companies in the country had complained.
He has since been given a job with a Taiwanese company, Wahoo, which issued a press release boasting about hiring a virus author.
But, when the virus hit businesses again on the same date a year later, a Taiwanese resident filed a complaint and the police have reopened the files.
According to reports, Ing-Hau has now been charged with the offences of destruction and damage, and if convicted he could face a maximum three-year prison sentence.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at antivirus company Sophos, said: "Well, it's clear that even when you think you have got away with it - maybe you haven't.
"It's also encouraging to see that Taiwan, in the wake of the Love Bug from the Phillippines, is taking the case seriously. Companies such as Wahoo, which hired Ing-Hau and press-released his appointment because they thought it was so great they were hiring a virus author, may think more carefully in future."
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