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Networking This Week: Wi-Fi Thief, Sasser Hacker Get Whacked

Finally, a week to show that Internet crime doesn't pay. For once, it wasn't a good time to be a worm-writing hacker or wireless bandwidth thief.

First, early in the week, German teenager Sven Jaschan confessed in court to writing the infamous Sasser worm that infected countless computers last year. He told German officials that he first created a virus called "Netsky A," that would fight the "Mydoom" and "Bagle" viruses by deleting them from infected PCs. That began a trail of development that ultimately led him to write Sasser.

Later in the week, a Florida man was arrested for allegedly stealing a WiFi signal --- police claimed that he was sitting outside someone's home in an SUV, using a laptop to piggyback onto the home owner's WiFi network. He was charged with unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony. One would think that if could afford an SUV, he should be able to afford a $50 WiFi router, but maybe he was behind on his car payments.

There was another piece of good news for the good guys fighting the Internet bad guys this week as well. A survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 91% of Internet users have changed their online behavior in order to avoid spyware and adware. They don't open email attachments, stop using peer-to-peer networks, and avoid dicey Web sites.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com celebrated its tenth birthday this week, and the future looks bright for the E-tail giant. With $6.92 billion in 2004 sales, it ranked at the top of Internet Retailer's annual top 400 list.

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