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Monday, August 29, 2005

Zotob worm writer caught

Local police have arrested two people in Turkey and Morocco under suspicion of involvement in the Zotob, Rbot and Mytob computer Windows 2000 worms, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft worked in conjunction with the Turkish and Moroccan authorities and the U.S. FBI, according to a release from the company. The software vendor, through a division it created two years ago to investigate cybercrime, provided the FBI with technical information and analytical support that was then shared with Turkish and Moroccan police.

Law enforcement officers in Rabat, Morocco, and in Adana and Ankara in Turkey, arrested the alleged distributors of the worms - Atilla Ekici, 21, of Turkey and Farid Essebar, 18, of Morocco – on Thursday, 12 days after the release of the first Zotob worm, Microsoft and FBI representatives said.

Ekici went under the code name of "Coder" and Essebar used the code name "Diabl0," said Louis M. Reigel III, assistant director of the FBI Cyber Division, in a conference call Friday.

Ekici apparently paid Essebar a sum of money to write the worms, but was not involved in their creation himself, Reigel said. "We believe that there was financial gain on the part of the Moroccan in the relationship," he said.