Suspect arrested in 'Melissa' computer virus
April 2, 1999
TRENTON, New Jersey (CNN) -- A New Jersey man has been arrested and charged with originating the e-mail computer virus known as Melissa, New Jersey authorities said Friday.
David L. Smith, 30, was arrested Thursday night by New Jersey State Police and was being held at the Monmouth County Jail, said Rita Malley, a spokeswoman for state Attorney General Peter Verniero.
The Aberdeen man is accused of originating the virus, which caused worldwide e-mail disruption earlier this week, from his apartment in Aberdeen, Malley said.
When recipients opened a message containing the virus, it replicated itself, sending messages to the first 50 people in the recipient's address list.
Smith was traced through his America Online account after a joint investigation by State Police and the FBI, she said.
He faces second-degree charges of interruption of public communication, conspiracy to commit interruption of public communication and attempts to commit those offenses, as well as the third-degree offense of theft of computer services.
Malley said Smith's occupation involves working with computers.
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