|Birth Place||Czech Republic|
|Operations||Brno, Czech Republic|
|Years active||? - 2004|
|Affiliation(s)||29A, Zoner Software|
Benny was a virus coder with the group 29A and is currently an employee of the antivirus software firm Zoner Antivirus. His viruses and worms are all proof of concepts intended to show new techniques for file and computer infection. None of Benny's viruses or worms were ever released into the wild by him.
Benny acquired his first computer at age 13, but unlike his friends, was more interested in coding programs and exploring the operating system than playing games. He became curious about viruses some time after getting his computer, and began reading Antivirus descriptions of them and buying books on viruses, including one that contained the source codes for the PS/MPC viruses and the Aragon boot virus. His first computer was often full of viruses, not of his own creation, and he enjoyed destroying them with the AVG 3.0 antivirus program, often running the program three times a day.
Work with 29A
Benny discovered the 29A virus magazine while finding a link to the CAP macro virus, and found it to be one of the best virus magazines. Shortly after discovering 29A magazine, Benny met Darkman over IRC, who said he wanted Benny to join the 29A group.
His first virus was called Pascal, which he himself did not really like. His first serious virus was Eva, which creates new headers in PE files. In his time with 29A, he published several viruses and worms as well as engines and tutorials. One of his most famous viruses was Installer, which he coded with Darkman and was the first Windows 2000 virus, coming out two weeks before Windows 2000 was released. Another pioneering was Leviathan, the first multi-threading virus.
In an article in 29A Magazine dated 2003.02.18, Benny announced his retirement from 29A and virus coding. His reason for leaving was mainly that the VX scene as he knew it was dying and being made up of people who are more interested in destruction rather than new techniques. Another was that he had a new job and did not want virus coding to take time from work.
In late 2004, Benny was hired by Zoner Software, a Czech software company that primarily makes graphics products. The security software he developed was not intended to be sold to the general public, as it was intended for the company's servers. The move was still controversial, as some are afraid that it might send the message that coding viruses gets one a good job. Zoner's response was that Benny had a strong sense of morality and that his code shows that he has an intimate understanding of how computers and their security work.
In 2004 November, Benny was arrested by Czech police for an alleged connection to the Slammer worm. No connection was ever found.
Virus/Worm(s) by Benny
- Installer (with Darkman)
- Stream (with Ratter)
Asterix Zine, "Interview with Benny/29A"
Benny. 29A Magazine, Issue 7, "Last Words From Benny". 2003.02.18
Clive Thompson. The New York Times, "The Virus Underground". 2004.02.08
Cassel Bryan-Low. College Journal, "Microsoft Hires Gumshoe To Hunt Cyber Felons" 2005.09.19
John Leyden. The Register, "Czech virus writer joins anti-virus firm" 2004.11.08
Blog (Czech only)