Four Israeli teenagers are being held in police custody after admitting to creating and propagating the Goner virus that hit networks around the globe last week.
According to reports in the Jeruslaem Post four high school students aged 15 and 16 from the city of Nahariya are being held in connection with the virus attacks.
In the report, Meir Zohar, head of the Israel police computer crime squad, claims that one of the teenagers has admitted to writing the worm and three others to spreading it.
It seems that the virus writer may have inadvertently drawn attention to himself by leaving clues in the code.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said that a message box which pops up when the virus is activated sends greetings out to a number of other virus writers or hackers, such as 'ThE_SkuLL', '[satan]', and 'TraceWar'.
With a little investigation such nicknames could work as "virtual fingerprints" linking up to more information.
"Virus writers typically use 'handles' or nicknames to hide their true identity. But for computer crime authorities these can be vital clues," said Cluley. "Handles act as virtual fingerprints: if the author uses the nickname elsewhere links can be made and the authorities can investigate."
Israeli police had apparently been tracking the case since the first instances of the virus appeared in early December. Under local law, the culprits could face up to five years in jail if convicted.
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