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Russian fined for virus-writing exploits

29A's Whale gets harpooned

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A Russian member of well-known 29A virus writers group has been fined 3,000 roubles (approximately £57) after he admitted writing malicious code.

Eugene Suchkov (AKA Whale), from the little-known Russian republic of Udmurtia, admitted writing the Stepan and Gastropod viruses. He posted live code for the viruses alongside the source code necessary to create variants onto a number of underground virus exchange websites. Neither of these viruses spread. The nickname Whale comes from the name of a virus rather than any reference to Suchkov's physical size.

29A (hexadecimal for 666) is well known for creating proof of concept viruses. Its active membership, reckoned to be between 12 and 20 by antivirus company Sophos, is drawn from across Europe.

Last week we reported how former 29A crew member "Benny" is taking a lead role in developing anti-virus software for a Czech company. Zoner Software, whose main business is graphics and multimedia, hired Benny to develop security software to protect servers run by Zoner's Internet division. According to Sophos, Benny resigned from 29A yesterday. ®

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