[ISN] Computer worm suspect in court

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Sep 14 04:29:44 EDT 2005


September 13, 2005

RABAT, Morocco (Reuters) -- A Moroccan magistrate questioned an
18-year-old science student in court on Tuesday about his alleged role
in unleashing computer worms that disrupted networks across the United
States last month.

Farid Essebar appeared before the investigating magistrate in Rabat
for three hours of questioning about the Zotob worm, his lawyer said.

The worm caused computer outages at more than 100 U.S. companies,
including major media outlets like CNN and The New York Times.

"My client Farid Essebar was interrogated by a Rabat court
investigating judge over the Zotob worm release on the Internet. He
was returned back to detention in a Rabat jail," said his lawyer,
Mohamed Fertat.

Essebar, an experimental science student who has been in jail since
his arrest on August 25, was remanded in custody and will be
questioned again on September 21, Fertat added.

Essebar's arrest in Morocco was part of a coordinated operation
involving Turkish authorities who detained 21-year-old Attila Ekici,
also suspected of involvement in the release of the Zotob worm, the
FBI said in Washington.

Fertat said Moroccan law allows authorities to hold a suspect in
custody for two months and this can be renewed five times if

"I expect the investigation to find him not guilty and that he will
not be charged of any crime," he added.

Court or police officials were not immediately available for comment.

Despite the Zotob worm's power, it did not create such widespread
havoc as previous malicious software programs like SQL Slammer and

The FBI said close teamwork with Microsoft Corp. and authorities in
Morocco and Turkey helped net Essebar and Ekici 12 days after the

Copyright 2005 Reuters

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