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Hardley Go Down
'Young men like you have to be deterred from committing this kind of offence.'
Andrew Harvey of Sherburn Village and Jordan Bradley of Darlington have been gaoled for helping create the T-K worm which spread through IRC between December 2001 and February 2003.
Harvey and Bradley, members of the Threat Krew, were arrested in 2003 after a joint UK-US investigation and admitted a conspiracy charge in May of this year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how one police computer became infected with the worm and spread it to 19,000 other computers in two weeks.
The court did not ask what law enforcement officers were doing in an IRC chat room or what safeguards were in place to prevent spreading damage from the police computer. Neither did the court ask why such innocuous 'worms' were so easy to spread in the first place.
The arrests were witnessed by officers of the US Computer and Technology and Crime Hi-Tech Team who flew in from southern California for the occasion. Afterwards they retired to the constabulary for tea and crumpets.
Prosecutor Adrian Waterman, expert in the human genome and clinical psychology, explained why such a crime was possible.
'Harvey and Bradley were doing what they do because of the control it gave them not with an end purpose in mind.' Onlookers were heard to heave a sigh of relief to have such esoteric geeky things explained to them.
Judge Beatrice Bolton, herself an avid surfer with Microsoft Windows XP and AOL, told Hardley:
'It's to your credit that you did not use the worm for the dreadful purposes you could have but you demonstrated the power it had over a large number of computers. Young men, like you, have to be deterred from committing this kind of offence.'