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PC Advisor readers show no sympathy to virus writers

Two years not tough enough

The latest poll on PC Advisor's website revealed that most of you have no sympathy for those responsible for creating computer viruses. Over half of respondents thought the two-year sentence given to virus writer Simon Vallor was simply insufficient.

Despite the fact that Vallor's sentence is the heaviest that has ever been enforced for such a crime, 50.3 percent of you thought it was insufficient and, rather harshly, that authorities should throw away the key.

However, 38.1 percent of you agreed the sentence was about right, with some believing the Windows operating system is also to blame.

"I have no sympathy for the idiots who write these things, but the real crime is that a virus can cause such damage because the operating system is riddled with security loopholes," said PC Advisor reader Shaun Barnes. "The [writers] are actually pointing out the lack of R&D in software."

But others don't think manufacturers should be criticised.

"To argue that because there are flaws in the system it is partly the system designer's fault, is like saying you are partly responsible when someone steals your car [because] if you didn't have something they wanted they wouldn't have committed the crime," said PC Advisor reader Brian Wadie.

Computer viruses cost UK SMEs around £2.1bn a year, according to research conducted by antivirus firm McAfee.

"Businesses seem to have little sympathy for Vallor," said Graham Cluely, senior technology consultant at antivirus firm Sophos. "This hard line suggests companies must be completely cheesed off with cybercriminals."

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