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Viral code designer gets collar felt

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Are international law enforcement authorities finally mounting a concerted clamp-down on virus writers? A Taiwanese computer engineer was arrested on cyber-crime charges today following the arrest of a teenage virus writing suspect in Canada and the capture of two alleged VXers in Germany earlier this month.

In the latest case, hackers from China allegedly used viral code designed by Wang Ping-an, 30, to launch attacks on Taiwanese government and business. It's the cyber equivalent of carpenters from Troy going outside the city to knock up a Trojan horse for the Greeks.

Taiwanese investigators reckon a Trojan horse virus called "Peep", created by Ping-an, allowed Chinese hackers to run amok across Taiwanese networks.

"He placed his program on popular hackers' Web sites and encouraged people to download it, "Lin Chieh-lung, an official from an Internet crime investigation task force told AP. "He might have wanted only to show off his skills, but he should be aware what harm this could cause," he added.

Ping-an faces charges of vandalizing public and corporate property punishable by up to five year in prison on conviction. The attacks on Taiwan's computer system came at a time of heightened tension between it and China, which claims sovereignty over the island nation. ®

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