China charges four in Panda worm outbreak

Li Jun, others face five years in prison for making, selling malware

Four men were charged Tuesday in a Chinese court for creating and selling the worm that went by names such as "Fujacks" and "Panda Burning Joss Sticks," according to the Changjiang Times.

The quartet, which included Li Jun, the 25-year-old most frequently pegged as Fujack's maker, faces prison terms of at least five years if convicted, the southern Chinese newspaper said. The other defendants listed were Wang Lei, Zhang Shun and Lei Lei. Last February, in the first arrests in China for writing malware, six were taken into custody by Hubei provincial police. It's unclear whether the charges against the remaining two have been dropped.

Fujacks/Panda, which was written in October 2006, was spread through an infected Web site and reportedly compromised about a million Windows-powered PCs in China. Earlier this year, police accused Li Jun of selling the worm to others and pocketing US$13,000 (AU$16,076) in the process, although yesterday's account in the Changjiang Times put Li's total take at more than US$19,000.

Others facing charges also allegedly made money from the sale of the worm, which among other actions, steals online game usernames and passwords. For instance, Wang received US$10,500, while Zhang received US$1,500.

The average annual income for Chinese living in urban areas is currently around US$925.

Li also made news this spring when police made him write software that was supposed to wipe Fujack from infected PCs. Local police said then that they would release the tool, but there has been no confirmation that authorities ever let it loose. Shortly after the news broke, Symantec researchers analyzed a copy and said it was nearly worthless.

"In our internal testing, the tool was generally ineffective," said Zulfikar Ramzan, a senior principal researcher at Symantec's security response group, in March. "On three, it was completely ineffective, and on five, it left a lot of traces of the worm on the system. Those remnants, registry keys or files, may not actually do anything bad, but they make the system dirtier than it used to be."

Reports from China have not said when Li and the others would face trial in People's Court.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?