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Author of Babylonia virus' hideout home page erases site.

TOKYO, Dec. 9 Kyodo

The author of a home page from which the new computer virus W95 Babylonia has been disseminated had erased the home page by Thursday morning, industry sources said.

The move came a day after the hideout of the virus detected recently in the United States was identified as a server operated by a Japanese Internet service provider (ISP) based in Oita in the southern Japanese main island of Kyushu.

The home page had been opened and maintained until Thursday morning inside a server which the Oita-based ISP, Mixed Media, has in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.

The author of the home page has left a message to those seeking to trace him or her, saying he or she has decided to halt activities for the time being.

The virus has been disguised as a program for free download to fix software problems related to the "millennium bug."

The author has stripped the home page of the capability to disseminate the virus, the sources said.

The virus eliminates all data stored on the hard disk of the computer to which it is downloaded. Computer security experts have warned the virus can update itself with destructive instructions sent from the Japanese site.

Symantec Corp. of the United States, a maker of antivirus vaccine software, said a crisis posed by the virus appears to have dissipated at least for the time being.

In the message left behind in English and Japanese, the author of the home page claims he or she is not the creator of the virus and points his or her finger at a person described as the "vecna," who is not identified.

The author claimed he or she erased the home page after finding that the virus created by the vecna threatens to inflict damage on numerous computer users.

The vecna contravened the author's policy that freedom of speech should be honored on the Web, prompting the author to erase the home page in question, the author claimed.

But an official at Trend Micro Inc., another maker of vaccine software, urged computer users to remain on the alert, saying, "It is customary that hackers' groups who write virus software relocate the hideouts of their viruses."
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Title Annotation:Industry Trend or Event
Comment:Author of Babylonia virus' hideout home page erases site.(Industry Trend or Event)
Publication:Japan Computer Industry Scan
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 13, 1999
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