Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Teenager gets suspended sentence for Internet worm

Filed under
Legal

The German teen-ager who wrote the Sasser Internet worm was convicted of computer sabotage on Friday and given a suspended jail sentence of one year and nine months.

A court in the northwestern German town of Verden said Sven Jaschan, 19, concocted his plans over a long period and worked with "mischievous delight" to create new, better and faster versions of the worm, which spread over the Microsoft Windows operating system in May 2004. "His goal was to improve the computer worm he programmed, especially increasing the speed with which it spread and thus to maximize the damage he intended to cause," the court said.

"He was in competition with others and caused immense, incalculable damage."

Jaschan had confessed to creating the worm, which knocked out an estimated one million computers in homes and businesses.

Sasser victims ranged from the British Coastguard to the European Commission, Goldman Sachs and Australia's Westpac Bank. Some security firms called it the most destructive worm ever.

Described by authorities as a "computer freak," he pleaded guilty to charges of data manipulation, computer sabotage and interfering with public services.

However, because he was 17 when the crimes were committed, Jaschan was tried in a youth court and his punishment was far short of the maximum sentence of five years in jail for computer sabotage under German law.

The court said that, while Jaschan had acted with "great intensity and shown enormous criminal energy," he had not done so for material gain. It noted he had been in a "difficult social situation."

NEED FOR RECOGNITION "He was very introverted and extremely shy at that time and was not integrated into his school class, which meant he had a strong need for recognition which he could achieve through his special abilities as a programmer," the court said.

"In addition, the court took into account the behavior of the accused after the act. He showed it was possible for him to complete a decent education with obvious success and achieve stable relationships."

Prosecutors had called for a two-year suspended sentence and 200 hours of community service. The defense argued for a maximum sentence of one year's probation.

Court spokeswoman Katharina Kruetzfeldt said Jaschan had also been ordered to do 30 hours' community service.

Microsoft, which offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to Jaschan's arrest, told Reuters the case showed it was ready to move quickly to identify and hold responsible the authors of damaging computer worms and viruses.

"Microsoft Corp. commends German law enforcement for its work on the arrest and conviction of the Sasser worm author," the company added.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Getting OpenStack Ready for the Enterprise

OpenStack is gaining popularity as the cloud platform of choice for IT organizations. This was reflected in a 2013 IDG survey that found as much as 64 percent of IT managers including OpenStack in their technology roadmap. In the current fast-paced IT market, the massive scalability and flexible, modular architecture of OpenStack can help give organizations the agility they need. Read more

Open source projects that warrant data center managers' attention

When you're making the case to a data center manager about tech that is worthy of her consideration, make sure these three open source options are on your list. Read more

Open source and Made in Italy: Arduino are circuit boards with a sense of style

One of the more surprising applications has been the natural marriage between the Arduino board and Lego. Once seen only as a child's building block toy, Lego is finding startling utility as an instant mechanical prototype maker for Arduino ideas. Read more

11 Useful Utilities To Supercharge Your Ubuntu Experience

Whether you’re a relative novice or a seasoned pro, we all want to get the most from our operating system. Ubuntu, like most modern OSes, has more to offer than what is presented at first blush. From tweaking and refining the look, behaviour and performance of the Unity desktop to performing system maintenance, there are a huge array of useful utilities and apps that can help tune Ubuntu to meet your needs in no time. Read more