My solution to the Major Virus Problem this week

How much time in prison should the maker of the Blaster virus get??

The FBI has just announced the arrest of an 18-year-old poor innocent child who created the Blaster Worm. He also created a similar virus called the LovSan virus last week. (At first I thought he named it after me).

This is a murky area of the law. Creating a computer virus is not clearly a crime. What law makes it illegal?? However, authorities are taking it seriously. The boy is right now being transferred from Minnesota where he was arrested to Seattle, headquarters of the MicroSoft Corporation, because the virus attacks MicroSoft products. They are not about to let him out on bail.

Ever since it came out last week, I have been receiving more than 200 copies of this virus every day. The virus takes many forms. Right now, my e-mail address is not working because my e-mail box is filled with copies of this virus. I could empty my mailbox and start the mail coming in again, but what would be the point? Right now, everybody who tries to send me mail right now gets a bounce message back saying Mailbox Full. I like it like that.

However, I am not infected with this virus, as far as I know. This is because I use an old e-mail program called Eudora 3.0. No virus made attacks that program. Almost all of the new viruses attack MicroSoft Outlook Express.

The virus makers will probably claim in defense that MicroSoft is guilty of complicity in this crime, because MicroSoft Windows is designed with a security hole in it. This security hole enables Bill Gates to read everything inside your computer. Bill likes it like that. He is not about to plug the hole, because then he will not be able to read inside your computer any more.

So, the defense will be similar to the case when a rapist claims that the rape was the victims fault because she wore a dress too short or spread her legs too wide. MicroSoft does not want to fix the hole in its software, thereby creating opportunities for enterprising creators of viruses. The virus maker has even left a message acknowledging this, which says: "billy gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!"

How much time should the virus maker get? This virus has caused billions of dollars in damages. Most will agree that the virus creator should get at least ten years of hard time in maximum security prison, both to stop him from creating more viruses and to discourage others from making viruses. But, under what statute will he be tried? He did not kill anybody. He did not kit anybody over the head.

People ask me what to do about this. My solution: My computer has received this virus more than one thousand times since it came out last week. Even as I type this, more copies of this virus is coming in. Yet, my computer does not get infected. The reason: This like almost all new viruses opens itself in Microsoft Outlook Express. This is not a new development. It has been the case for more than two years. I deleted Microsoft Outlook Express from my computer long ago. I use Eudora, a program than can be downloaded for free at

However, I use an older version of Eudora, which is no longer distributed. Nobody has made a virus which attacks my version of Eudora. I do not know if there is any virus which attacks the newer versions.

Also, believe it or not, there are still people using computers on the Internet without a virus scanner running. A comment I often hear is: "I cannot be infected by a virus because I never open an attachment unless the email is from someone I know." This is an incredibly stupid statement, but there are a lot of stupid people in this world. The new viruses open themselves automatically. Once the e-mail arrives in your computer, you are immediately infected. Also, the viruses disguise themselves so as to appear to be from someone you know. Then, they take all the e-mail addresses out of your computer address book and send the virus to everyone you know.

If you want to take an extreme measure, any time anybody sends you an e-mail using MicroSoft Outlook Express, send them back a bounce message saying that you do not accept e-mail from anyone who uses MicroSoft Outlook Express. Enough messages like that might encourage Bill Gates to fix the security hole he left in your computer.

Sam Sloan

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