Anna virus author comes forward

A Dutch virus writer known as OnTheFly admitted Tuesday to writing the Anna Kournikova virus, as Excite@Home compiled evidence against a subscriber in the Netherlands who is believed to be the same person.

"I didn't do it for fun," OnTheFly stated in a Web posting Tuesday. "I never wanted to harm the people who opened the attachment. But after all: it's their own fault they got infected."

The statement confirmed that OnTheFly used a readily available virus-writing tool, known as the Vbs Worm Generator, to create the Anna Kournikova virus, but exonerated the tool's author of aiding him.

Meanwhile, a source at Excite@Home has acknowledged that the company is trying to identify and ban a Dutch subscriber who appears to be OnTheFly. A previous virus, known as Iwa, had been posted to the alt.comp.virus.source.code newsgroup using Excite@Home Netherlands' network.

"We are working on it," said the Excite@Home source, who asked not to be named. "It is a clear violation of the acceptable use policy. We will come down hard and fast."

The information connecting OnTheFly and the Excite@Home subscriber had first been found by Richard Smith, chief technology officer of the Privacy Foundation and a key online detective in the Melissa virus case two years ago.

Also known as VBS/SST, VBS_Kalamar and VBS/OnTheFly, the Anna Kournikova virus initially poses as an attachment -- AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs -- that has been included in an e-mail with one of several similar subject lines.

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