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Spanish police arrest Raleka virus suspect
John Leyden, The Register 2003-11-27

Spanish police have arrested a 23-year man on suspicion of writing the Raleka computer worm.

The unnamed man is suspected of leading a Spanish phreaker group called "AKELARRE". According to a statement by Spain's Civil Guard, three houses were searched and eight computers seized during the investigation that led to the arrest of 23-year-old suspect, nicknamed "900K", in Madrid.

It's believed to be the first time Spanish authorities have arrested a suspected virus author. The Spanish Interior Ministry hailed the arrest as a "landmark in the fight against the computer science delinquency" in the country.

Raleka infected more than 120,000 computers in 14 days following its release in August this year, according to Spanish police.

The worm exploited the same DCOM vulnerability as the much more contagious Blaster worm. Once infected computers could be controlled by a remote hacker over IRC, as explained here.

Microsoft recently announced two $250,000 bounties for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the authors of the Blaster and Sobig worms. Although Raleka used a similar trick as Blaster, it is not believed the Spanish arrest is connected to Microsoft's reward. ®

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