"Anna" virus writer turns himself in to police

A 20-year-old man has turned himself in to police in the Dutch province of Friesland, identifying himself as the author of the so-called Anna Kournikova virus.

          A 20-year-old man has turned himself in to police in the Dutch province of Friesland, identifying himself as the author of the so-called Anna Kournikova virus, police spokesman Robert Rambonnet said Wednesday.

          "He was arrested, but later on released again. He made a statement about his actions, what he had done, how he made the virus and published it on the Internet," said Rambonnet, adding that the man's computer equipment had been confiscated.

          "He made a virus to prove how simple it was to make a virus, and how vulnerable computers are for viruses," he added.

          Rambonnet would give no further details about the man's identity or occupation, other than to say he is a resident of the town of Sneek.

          In all likelihood he is the same person who took responsibility for the virus in a Web posting Tuesday, identifying himself by the user name "OnTheFly," Rambonnet said.

          "I didn’t do it for fun," the posting said. "I never wanted to harm the people (who) opened the attachment. But after all: it’s their own fault they got infected with the AnnaKournikova virus, OnTheFly virus or whatever they call it."

          E-mail to OnTheFly's address was returned with an error message saying the account had been disabled. The ISP (Internet service provider) @Home Benelux BV, host of the address, is currently investigating whether OnTheFly is indeed one of its users, said spokeswoman Marieke van Kruiningen.

          The Visual Basic script (VBS) virus is spread via e-mail carrying an attachment masquerading as a .JPG image of Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova. If activated, it does not destroy or corrupt files, but has clogged e-mail systems by the sheer number of messages it generates in replicating itself.

          The OnTheFly posting laid some of the responsibility at the tennis player's feet. "Just because I am a big fan of her. She deserves some attention, doesn’t she??" it said, and, "Maybe this is also Anna’s blame, she is so pretty."

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