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Kournikova virus kiddie gets 150 hours community service

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The author of the Anna Kournikova virus has been sentenced to 150 hours community service - or 75 days in jail if he fancies that option.

The sentence is a good deal lighter than the prosecutors called for. They wanted Jan de Wit, aged 20 of Sneek, Netherlands, to get 240-hours community service.

De Wit was tried in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. He was charged with spreading data into a computer network, with the intention of causing damage. The charges carried a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a fine of 100,000 guilders ($41,300).

He denied any intent to cause damage but the court didn't agree. IDG reports that the verdict stated de Wit "was not a layman in the field of computer viruses. He works in a computer store and collected viruses - about 7,200, according to himself. The defendant must have been very aware of the consequences of his acts. The virus he spread was a hindrance, causing worry and annoyance among Internet users worldwide."

The court confiscated de Wit's CD-ROM virus collection.

To press for a lengthier sentence the FBI submitted evidence to the Dutch court, suggesting that $166,000 in damages was caused by the worm, based on reports of damage from 55 firms. However the court felt the FBI report didn't give enough details, and also felt that de Wit's position as a first-time offender who gave himself up was in his favour. ®

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