August 26, 2005

Suspected computer worm authors arrested, FBI says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Authorities in Morocco and Turkey
have arrested two men for writing computer worms that disrupted
networks across the United States last week, the FBI said on

Farid Essebar, 18, of Morocco, and Atilla Ekici, 21, of
Turkey, are believed to have written and unleashed the Zotob
and Mytob worms that hit the Internet less than two weeks ago,
the FBI said.

The worms caused computer outages at more than 100 U.S.
companies, including major media outlets like CNN, the New York
Times and ABC News.

The worms did not cause widespread havoc along the lines of
previous malicious software programs like SQL Slammer and

Zotob and Mytob targeted a recently discovered flaw in the
Plug and Play feature of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000
operating system.

Users who heeded a prior warning from Microsoft and updated
their systems were not victimized by the worms.

Those who didn't keep their systems up to date could have
their computers taken over by remote servers.

Microsoft and the FBI helped overseas authorities track
down those responsible, the FBI said.

"The swift resolution of this matter is the direct result
of effective coordination and serves as a good example of what
we can achieve when we work together," FBI Cyber Division
Assistant Director Louis Reigel said in a press release.