Chinese police to release hacker's Panda worm killer

The fox is let back into the henhouse

A hacker arrested only days ago will be allowed to release a fix for the worm that he helped write, China's state media reported Wednesday.

Li Jun, one of six people recently arrested by provincial police for creating, then selling, the worm known as Panda Burning Joss Stick and Fujacks, has written a seek-and-destroy program that will eradicate the worm, said the government's official Xinhua News Agency.

Xinhua also reported that Li confessed Tuesday to writing the worm "for fun" and selling it to several people for nearly US$13,000. The Panda worm, which has spread widely throughout China, steals online game usernames and passwords.

Police in central China's Hubei Province said that after additional testing, the unnamed killer program will be posted to the Internet. According to Ye Tieguan, vice director of the Xiantao police bureau, Li's program eliminates the Panda worm.

Security company Sophos questioned the wisdom of letting the fox in the henhouse.

"Virus writers have shown themselves to be irresponsible and untrustworthy, and I certainly wouldn't choose to run their code on my computer," Graham Cluley, a Sophos senior technology consultant, said in a statement. "Fujacks left some infected files unable to run, [so] that hardly suggests the author took quality assurance seriously when he constructed his malware. Computer users would clean their PCs with professional tools written by security experts."

Occasionally, hackers leave the dark side for work in security firms, but analysts and researchers are almost always suspicious of such a practice. In 2004, for example, German security vendor Securepoint was criticized for hiring Sven Jaschan, the self-confessed author of the Netsky and Sasser worms. Jaschan, then 19, was given a 21-month suspended sentence in 2005 by a German court.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?