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Teenagers Masterminded "Goner"

Four Israeli teenagers have admitted they created the "Goner" computer virus. "Goner" has caused massive damage on computers worldwide.

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Kids can create havoc with their computers (file picture)

Israeli police have caught the creators of the "Goner" computer worm. Security officials placed four teenagers under house arrest on Monday who admitted to writing and spreading "Goner".

The computer worm "Goner" deleted files and clogged e-mail inboxes around the world. It caused millions of dollars in damage last week alone. Officials said North America, Australia and western Europe were hardest hit.

The four youths all attended the same school in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya. The 15- and 16-year-olds could now face up to 2-1/2 years in prison for masterminding the virus. According to police, one of them admitted to writing the computer worm, and the other three confessed to spreading it.

Police acted on a tip from Israeli intelligence before the arrests late last week. Police searched the students' homes and confiscated computers and other material.

"Goner" was the latest of a series of costly computer viruses to have an international impact. It appeared as an e-mail with the subject line "Hi" and a screensaver attachment.

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