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Jailed Virus Writer Offered a Well-Paying Job

A man in China, who wrote a highly destructive computer virus and was sentenced to prison for four years on September 25, 2007, had received an offer for a job from a network company, which promised an annual salary of 1 Million Yuan (US$ 133,155).

Jushu Technology Co. in the Hangzhou City of Zhejiang Province said it wanted Li Jun, the inventor of the 'worm.whboy' virus, also called "panda burning joss sticks", as the Technology Director of the company. It also thought the company would be a good place for Li to display his talent. Changjiang Times reported this on September 26, 2007.

Security watchers got puzzled with the news that an organization, which had been victim of a jailed virus author, was offering the same man a job. It is vital that the IT community does not convey any message that worm or virus writing is cool, or an easy way to get employed, said Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant for Sophos. Channel Register reported this on September 27, 2007.

Li Jun violated the law by infecting computers of innocent people causing them financial damage. To give credit to someone for this infamous and criminal act by offering a job in the industry is clearly unacceptable. Virus authors have been proved unreliable and have weak morals or they would not develop and release malware, Cluley added.

25-year old Li from Wuhan got the sentence because he wrote the Panda worm and profited from it by injecting it into more than a million PCs across the country that caused enormous losses, according to an announcement by a court in Hubei Province on September 25, 2007.

Company GM, Dong Zhenguo, told newspapers that the organization had fallen victim to the virus and he personally detested Li's act. Zhejiang Online reported this on September 26, 2007. However, after sometime, Zhenguo learned that Li designed the worm in discontentment over not finding a job, meaning he probably just went astray, the report said.

The IT industry has been concerned since the offer because it shakes the unwritten agreement in the west that software security companies will not hire former creators of viruses.

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