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Anna-bug author OnTheFly 'fesses up

It was her fault for being so pretty

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Someone claiming to be the author of the much publicised and rather underwhelming, hence aptly-named, Anna Kournikova e-mail worm has set up a confessional Web site explaining his methods and motives.

"In this letter I'd like you to know that I didn't do it for fun," he says. Rather, it all happened "just because I am a big fan of her. She deserves some attention, doesn't she?"

As for the methods, they were all too familiar. "I have made this virus with a Visual Basic Worm Generator, written by [K]Alamar. K. is NOT involved with this worm! I have been using this program because I don't know any programming languages," OnTheFly explains.

A target of the worm, the DynaByte computer shop Web site, which was to be flooded with visits by infected surfers on 29 January, was chosen entirely through random happenstance, OnTheFly says.

"A couple of days ago I bought something in that Dutch Ccomputershop and at the moment of writing that virus I had the receipt in front of me, on my desk. I never meant to harm the site (tell me if I did). That's why I put the 29th of januari as the date of downloading the site. I'm sure that the VBS/OnTheFly.a-virus is already stopped by then..."

But the most important reason for writing the virus was to evaluate a claim by tech research and consulting outfit IDC, holding that a large number of computer users would still open unknown e-mail attachments like the Love Bug, which we covered here.

"Last week I read an artikle about some research (www.idc.com) about the impact of the LoveLetter virus. The title of that artikle says enough: IDC: (Surfing people haven't learned anything from the I-Love-You virus)," OnTheFly says.

"I think IDC is right. I also think that you agree with me, according to the rate of spreading. Maybe this is also Anna's blame, she is so pretty..."

Actually, the disappointing rate of the Anna bug's spread tends to contradict IDC's contention that computer users have learned nothing about data hygiene from the Love Bug. Not that a consulting shop would have any possible motive for exaggerating a threat for which they can offer expensive advice, mind you. ®

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