Business ties severed over Netsky author

A German company has found that hiring the author of the Netsky and Sasser worms may not be good for business.

In a moral stand, anti-virus vendor HBEDV has cut its ties with IT security firm Securepoint, which recently hired the 18 year old author as a trainee.

"We take a dim view of employing virus authors," said Tjark Auerbach, CEO of HBEDV. "The attempt to offer a second chance to an allegedly reformed person must be balanced against the exclusive security interests of our customers."

Formerly sales and technology partners, the German firms will now lead separate lives. But Securepoint claimed to be unperturbed by the rift.

"They are not a big company and we don't do very much work with them," said Lutz Hausmann, technical director of Securepoint. "If they want to do this then that is fine. I don't care."

Securepoint insisted that HBEDV is the only business partner to take this standpoint and that business has been unaffected by the appointment.

The Netsky and Sasser viruses were responsible for 70% of worm infections in the first half of 2004. Notable victims were US carrier Delta Airlines and the European Commission.

Their alleged author was arrested in May of this year and is still awaiting a court hearing.

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