Fame, infame, all the same

Monday, 6 October 2003, 4:17 PM EST

A New York Times researcher -- that's what they're calling themselves these days -- contacted me a couple of weeks ago about a story the newspaper was considering.

"The World's Most Famous Virus-writers and Hackers!" was the general idea. The researcher was preparing memos on the subject so higher-ups could decide what development path to take. Should it be a photo-essay or written exposition? The researcher wasn't even sure it would see the light of day.

The name of Jeffrey Lee Parson came up. You may recall him as the slug arrested for spreading a spin-off of the Blaster virus. Well, it just so happened Parson's contribution to net wildlife had snarled the New York Times.

Yep, he wanted his virus to be famous, and it was, with just the right people. Fifteen thousand citations in Google-- among them, my favorite, "Evil Fiend or Sad No-lifer?"

[ Read more ]




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