By Alan Robles
Call him Michael. No call him Barok. No call him Spyder. No call him Lameris Tamoshious. He's a Filipino in Pandacan. He's a Lithuanian. He's a German living in the Philippines.. He's a she.
The one thing definite about the person -- or group -- who created the ILOVEYOU worm is the damage the creation has done. Oh, and there's the the matter of all those extremely irritated people eager to personally make the acquaintaince of the virus writer.
When that will happen is anybody's guess.The story so far has been surreal. Last week the police in Manila said an Internet Service Provider (ISP) had identified the hacker. Then the ISP claimed it hadn't. Then the police insisted they had positive ID, that the culprit was a young man living in an area of the city called Pandacan. Journalists who checked this found out the neighborhood is a squatter area. So where'd the hacker keep his PC, in a pushcart?
Asked why they didn't arrest the suspect the authorities replied they had no warrant and weren't sure what to charge the guy with. Besides it was a weekend. Not to worry though, assured the National Bureau of Invesigation. Its agents were tailing the suspect round the clock.
These developments were accompanied by a welter of confusing media reports. One claimed the hacker is a German who might be living in the Philippines. Or maybe Australia. Another said the hacker was actually a woman. So is it a he or a she? Maybe a horse did it. A horse with no name
You'd expect that a hacker so badly wanted by the world would be on the run, or in hiding, not walking around with a posse of government agents on his tail. And you'd definitely expect the culprit to be monitoring the news, where the NBI has thoughtfully announced it's following the person around.
Hot Manila's own cursory investigation of the matter suggests the following clues. The writer is a male living in the Philippines. He probably graduated from AMA Computer College and is part of a hackers group called GRAMMERsoft.
A CNN reporter says "you should advise Spyder to get a good lawyer, and quickly. He has very little time before he's arrested."
"He didn't anticipate it to be this big," guesses on ecomputer programmer who declines to be identified. "He might have expected it to have a wide distribution but they were using a hacked account. they become over confident."
The bad news for the hacker? Yes Michael/Barok/Spyder, they CAN find you. All those Internet services you availed of like ICQ? Well they're busy trawling their logs for any users named BAROK or SPYDER and are turning over the files to investigators. All of those services will now snitch on you. You messed their computers they'll mess with your life