Court gives Sasser creator suspended sentence
8 July 2005, VERDEN, GERMANY - The German teenager who created the Sasser and Nesky computer worms that created havoc for computers around the world was convicted Friday of computer sabotage and given a suspended sentence.
8 July 2005
VERDEN, GERMANY - The German teenager who created the Sasser and Nesky computer worms that created havoc for computers around the world was convicted Friday of computer sabotage and given a suspended sentence.
Sven Jaschan, 19, was given a suspended sentence of one year and nine months after he admitted creating the computer viruses at his trial which was held behind closed doors in the northern town of Verden.
"He got mischievous pleasure when the computers collapsed world- wide," said court spokeswoman Katharina Kruetzfeldt following the announcement of the verdict.
Jaschan said he felt "deep remorse" for what he did and hoped he could one day redeem himself by enhancing anti-virus safety in the computer industry.
The hobby computer programmer was also convicted of charges of altering data. He is one of the few computer virus creators ever to be caught.
In addition, the Sasser creator has to undertake 30 hours voluntary work in a hospital or a home for the elderly.
Jaschan was arrested at his family's home after an informant tipped off Microsoft Corp who has offered a reward for information about the source of the worm which in May 2004 hit computers using the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. The virus caused them to crash and reboot as well as slowing global internet traffic.
Kruetzfeldt said that Jaschan had created Sasser without any commercial goals. Instead, he developed the virus so as to seek recognition from his school friends, she said.
The virus's victims reportedly included the European Commission and Delta Airlines.
One prosecutor estimated the cost of the damage caused by the worm at millions of euros, with leading companies keeping the impact of Sasser secret because they were embarrassed at not being better protected.
Microsoft welcomed the court decision Friday and said that it would pay the USD 250,000 (EUR 210,000) reward saying it hoped that the judgement would be a warning to those considering imitating the Sasser virus.
"The judgement shows that the programming and spreading of internet viruses and worms is not a harmless crime, but a criminal offence, from which substantial damage results," said Microsoft spokeswoman Dorothee Belz.
The media and public were not allowed to attend the trial because Jaschan was tried as a juvenile. Jaschan has told reporters he wrote the original virus, Netsky, on which Sasser was based, before he turned 18 at the end of April 2004.
© DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news