'Joss-stick burning panda' hackers return to jail for online gambling

Jan. 9, 2014 at 3:13 PM

BEIJING, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Two hackers previously jailed for creating the "joss-stick burning panda" computer virus were sentenced in China for running an online gambling operation.

The Liandu District People's Court in China's Zhejiang province sentenced and fined Zhang Shun to five years and $33,060 and imposed a three-year sentence and $13,224 fine on Li Ju Wednesday, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Zhang and Li created the "joss-stick burning panda" virus that infected millions of computers in 2006 and 2007. The virus, which changed icons on desktops into animated pandas holding three burning joss-sticks deleted files, damaged programs and stole information from gaming and messenger accounts.

In 2007, Zhang was sentenced to two years and Li to three years in prison.

After their release, the pair ran an online gaming company that allowed players to gamble by using virtual chips, which the company sold. A large number of people played the card games, and about $12.5 million was staked, Xinhua said.

Twenty-four others also were punished for their role in the gambling company.

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