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Published in TidBITS 34.
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Scores Author Charged

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With all the effort that many of you have put in responding to our survey, we hate to ask you to write yet another letter. However, you may want to do so depending on your experiences with viruses. The Dallas prosecutor's office is going to file charges against the author of the Scores virus, one of the first of those nasty little beasties. They feel that they have plenty of hard evidence in the case, but are looking for more information on the scope of the damage done by Scores outside of EDS (the company originally targeted by the Scores virus). Any information you provide will not be used on a per-item basis and you will not be called as a witness. However, this is something you can do to show your support of legal action against virus authors. If you wish to help out, include specifics on when your computer(s) contracted Scores, any damage it did, and approximately what it took in terms of time and expense to clean up after it. Any other related data will be appreciated as well.

Send your letters to

Lt. Walt Manning
Dallas Police Dept.
1840 Chestnut. St.
Dallas, TX 75226

Lt. Manning would also appreciate separate letters on letterhead stating that viruses such as Scores are a major problem in the computing community and that if possible, their authors should be prosecuted under appropriate laws. Evidently he's looking for some rational, well-reasoned letters of support that could be used as a backdrop to the case.

According to Lt. Manning, they expect the suspect to plead guilty when shown the evidence they have against him. No life imprisonments here either - they're going to try to get a suspended sentence with a public apology and lots of community service. We support such sentences so long as they are appropriately served. Talented programmers such as this person and Robert Morris should be put to work doing programming. No need to waste their talents. Of course, if a convicted virus author is caught loosing another virus, that's when we should collectively break his or her fingers.

That said, we encourage you to write these letters. Even if you haven't had the Scores virus itself, the unimaginable amount of time that has been spent by everyone who uses computers in fighting viruses should be acknowledged to the legal community.

Information from:
Mark Anbinder -- mha@memory.uucp
Gene Spafford --


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