A 20-YEAR-OLD who created a virus that has infected at least 17,000 smartphones will be electronically tagged for six months.
Dylan Caron, who is said to be gifted despite having dropped out of school before lycée, said he created a virus so as to prove he is “as good as people with diplomas”.
However he admitted he also wanted to profit from it. He made software which is free to download to Android phones but which, unknown to users, then sends premium rate texts from their phone. He would then recuperate small payments linked to the texts.
He is said to have made about €4,000, which he used to buy IT equipment and computer games, but his victims are thought to have lost around half a million euros.
Caron was arrested in Amiens in October but had launched his virus a year before. He said the idea came to him one night while he was watching television in bed. He said it took him just an hour to write the programme. He has been programming since the age of nine.
Passing judgment, the judge remarked that “for a first try at committing a property crime it’s a masterstroke”.
The public prosecutor had asked for a year’s suspended sentence – the judge opted for a year with half suspended, half with a tag. He had faced up to five years’ prison.
The prosecutor said Caron “was someone with a lot of ability, a low income and, I think, has suffered from isolation. He compensates like that.”
Caron claimed on leaving court: “My main aim was to prove that I could be useful to a firm, so as to get a job,” adding he regretted what he did.
aron Amat - Fotolia.com