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Coda


The thing that surprised me most about the "virus scene" is how much it was like a scientific society: All these teenagers worldwide, staying up all night researching new programming techniques, then writing long reports they gave away for free, just to prove they could bust a hard problem. (One sixteen-year-old in Austria showed me a meticulous article he'd written on a programming technique-and it was five thousand words, ten times longer than any paper he's required to write for school.) This is partly why it'll likely be impossible for authorities to ever extinguish virus writing. That's not for a lack of trying; in fact, since I published the article, two authors of the most virulent worms of 2003 have been caught: Jeffrey Lee Parsons, an American eighteen-year-old who released a "Blaster" worm, received one and a half years in jail, while a German of the same age. Sven Jaschan, was charged for releasing the infamous Sasser worm. New worms are still appearing every week-and now they're starting to invade mobile phones, the next great frontier of Internet-connected devices.


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