Kournikova virus writer loses appeal

A Dutch appeals court on Monday upheld the conviction of the 22-year-old man who created and unleashed the Anna Kournikova e-mail worm last year.

Jan de Wit of Sneek, Netherlands, was sentenced to 150 hours of community service by the appeals court in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, for creating and sending out the e-mail worm. The verdict is identical to the one handed down by the Leeuwarden district court in September last year.

"I had hoped he would be found not guilty," said Theo Jansen, De Wit's lawyer. "My client never intended to do any damage and no damage was ever proven."

No damage claims were filed with the prosecutor's office, but the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) did identify 55 victims of the Kournikova worm with a total damage of US$166,827.

De Wit used a worm-making toolkit to create a worm that, under the guise of an e-mail image of Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova, spread like wildfire for two days in February 2001.

At the trial before the district court, De Wit stated that he did not know what he was doing or what the consequences of posting the virus in an Internet newsgroup could be. The judges did not believe him because De Wit had a collection of about 7,200 computer viruses and worked in a computer store.

Damage done by the Kournikova worm was limited, but could have been significant. The exponential spreading could have paralyzed the Internet and De Wit knew that, the court said.

De Wit was charged with spreading data via a computer network with the intent to cause damage, a crime punishable by four years in prison and a maximum fine of about €45,000 (US$44,000).The prosecutor before the district court asked the court for 240 hours of community service.

Join the newsletter!

Or
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.

Joris Evers

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

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?