Internet Worm Linked to San Francisco Man

A Crimson investigation has connected ViddyHo.com—the site responsible for an instant messaging worm that spread Tuesday—to an online account belonging to San Francisco man Hoan Ton-That.

The worm struck many Harvard students who received messages on Google Talk, Google’s instant messaging client, directing them to click on a link that led via TinyURL.com to ViddyHo.com.

ViddyHo.com asked visitors to log into their Google Talk accounts. The site used the log-in information to perpetuate the worm by sending replicas of the original message to the users’ contact lists.

An archived copy of the registration information for ViddyHo.com lists Cam-Hoan Ton-That of San Francisco and HappyAppy Inc. as the registrant.

The site Venture Hacks lists Hoan Ton-That as the sole member of HappyAppy Inc, a relationship that was confirmed by Hoan’s lawyer, Andre Gharakhanian of Silicon Legal Strategy.

Gharakhanian said he was aware of the ViddyHo.com worm because of a post on the tech gossip blog ValleyWag but said that, to his knowledge, Ton-That was not involved.

ViddyHo.com was inaccessible after 7:50 p.m. Tuesday night, and a representative of Afraid.org, a site involved in the hosting of ViddyHo.com, confirmed that the site’s account was suspended for violating Afraid.org’s terms of service.

Hoan had not returned repeated requests for comment Tuesday night.

The Crimson reported late Tuesday on a less direct connection between Ton-That and the worm.

—Staff writer Daniel C. Carroll can be reached at carroll@fas.harvard.edu.