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Internet Worm Linked to San Francisco Man

By Daniel C. Carroll, Crimson Staff Writer

A Crimson investigation has connected—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 to 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 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 worm because of a post on the tech gossip blog ValleyWag but said that, to his knowledge, Ton-That was not involved. was inaccessible after 7:50 p.m. Tuesday night, and a representative of, a site involved in the hosting of, confirmed that the site’s account was suspended for violating’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

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