Computer worm traps child porn offender in Germany

A child porn offender in Germany turned himself in to police after mistaking an email he received from a computer worm for an official warning that he was under investigation, authorities said yesterday.

"It just goes to show that computer worms aren't always destructive," said a spokesman for police in the western city of Paderborn. "Here it helped us to uncover a crime which would otherwise probably have gone undetected."

The 20-year-old was caught out by a version of the "Sober" worm, a prolific Internet virus which can invade computers and then send out messages from a host of fabricated addresses.

The trap was set when the man got an email saying "an investigation is underway," that listed the sender as Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). Police charged him after finding pornographic images of children on his home computer.

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