The person who identified himself as responsible for the Anna Kournikova virus will be prosecuted for spreading information via a computer network with the intention to create damage, Dutch authorities said Wednesday.
The self-proclaimed virus author will have to appear in court on Sept. 12. Although it is still uncertain what sentence the prosecutor will demand, it is clear that the sentence will not be more than six months in prison.
The accused, who used the nick name OnTheFly, said he created the Anna Kournikova virus in February with a so-called worm creator. For two days the virus spread like wildfire and infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, according to antivirus software vendors. After realizing the size of the damage he had done, he decided to turn himself in at a police station in his hometown Sneek.
It will be the first time that a Dutch virus writer will be prosecuted for unleashing a virus on the internet. According to Andre Post, an antivirus specialist at Symantec Antivirus Research Center (SARC), the prosecution of virus writers is rare not only in the Netherlands. He knows of only three convicted virus writers worldwide: two in the U.S. and one in the U.K.