Two men from the north east have been charged with distributing the TK Worm which, police say, caused £5.5m worth...
of damage when it infected 18,000 computers worldwide last year.
Officers of the National High-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) first questioned the men in February after a joint operation involving the FBI and US-based computer crime investigators.
Jordan Bradley and Andrew Harvey are accused of being members of an international hacking group calling themselves the "THr34t-Krew". Both are to appear in court next week.
The TK Worm allowed hackers remote access to infected computers, which could be used for a range of activities, from scanning other computers for vulnerabilities to starting distributed denial-of-service attacks on other computers and websites, the NHTCU said.
Antivirus supplier Sophos said the worm exploited a vulnerability found on some Microsoft IIS web servers, although Microsoft has released a patch that on its security website.
In August, Minnesota teenager Jeffrey Lee Parson was arrested and charged with releasing the W32.Blaster-B internet worm. This week, Romanian Dan Sumitru Ciobanu was arrested and could face 10 years in prison for releasing the Blaster-F worm variant