Romanian nabbed for launching Blaster-F

A 24 year-old Romanian student has been arrested for authoring another variant of the Blaster Internet worm, according to a statement released by Softwin SRL, a computer security company based in Bucharest, Romania.

Romanian law enforcement officials and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could not immediately be reached for comment on the arrest.

Dan Dumitru Ciobanu was arrested while working in a photo developing lab after Romanian authorities traced the Blaster-F worm back to him with the help of Softwin researchers, the company said.

As with the arrest of Minnesota teenager Jeffrey Parson on Friday, Ciobanu's decision to use his online nickname, enbiei, for the virus file was integral to his capture, Softwin said.

Ciobanu's version of Blaster also included a caustic message, written in Romanian, in the body of the worm that named a local university, the Hydrotechnical University in Iasi, as well as one of his teachers, Softwin said.

As with the Blaster-B variant created by Parson, Blaster-F is a modest alteration of the original Blaster worm. Ciobanu's variant does not alter the worm's basic functionality and spreading mechanisms. Also like the Blaster-B variant, that similarity made the F variant less successful at spreading, the company said.

In addition to arresting Ciobanu, Romanian authorities seized two computers from his home and are analyzing their contents, the company said.

If convicted, Ciobanu could face up to 15 years in prison based on new laws in Romania designed to prosecute cybercrime, Softwin said.

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Paul Roberts

IDG News Service
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