Man cleared of downloading child porn

A not-guilty verdict is given on child porn charges, after malware is blamed for the indecent imagery

"It's not me, it's my computer's malware," may not sound like a defence that would hold up in court, especially when it comes to child porn charges, but it seemingly has in America.

Michael Fiola, a 53-year-old investigator with the US Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), has been found not guilty of possessing indecent images of children on his company's laptop after both the defence and prosecution agreed that the images were downloaded by malware.

When computer forensics analyst Tami Loehrs took a look at Fiola's laptop she found that the images hadn't actually been viewed, just downloaded, apparently without Fiola's knowledge.

Loehrs also found that the computer was full of malware from a variety of sources.

Hunt and peck

Speaking about the incident, Fiola's attorney said: "Anybody who has a work laptop, this could happen to. Mike Fiola is a hunt-and-peck kind of computer guy. He can barely get on the internet."

Now that he has been cleared of all charges, Fiola is looking to sue his former company.

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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.