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Melissa virus author is hacker too

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The Melissa Virus is the sexually transmitted disease for our virtual sex times. It was a masterstroke by the author to post the virus on an alt.sex newsgroup. This ensured that Melissa spread almost as fast as syphilis in 16th century Europe. Contagion is infectious. It's been quite some time since those arch-scaremongers, the anti-virus companies, had something really juicy to get their teeth into. Their scanner sales will show a satisfying jump. And let's not forget the IT publications: we always love a good old virus scare. It is our equivalent of a war story. Today, top battle honours should go CNET's Shankland. He has been a busy bunny. The reporter half-named the owner of the AOL account that was purportedly used to infect the world's email systems. From Shankland, we learn the man is called Steinmetz (so where did his surname go?). And from Shankland we learn that Steinmetz pleads innocence. Which would mean the Melissa virus author is also a hacker. But what connection does Steinmetz have with Sky Roket who from an AOL account -- Network Associates says -- first posted the Melissa virus on an alt.sex newsgroup last Friday? Steinmetz says he's been framed. And he is not amused by the "lack of security that AOL has in place". So now he's going to shut down his AOL account. AOL is probably bracing itself for a multi-million lawsuit to land on its doorstep any day now. ® See Serial numbers unmask Melissa author

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