Sasser virus author admitsall as trial opens in Germany
5 July 2005, VERDEN, GERMANY - A self-avowed computer nerd teenager admitted to a court in Germany Tuesday that he created the Sasser virus that knocked out millions of computers last year.
5 July 2005
VERDEN, GERMANY - A self-avowed computer nerd teenager admitted to a court in Germany Tuesday that he created the Sasser virus that knocked out millions of computers last year.
Schoolboy Sven J. had just turned 18 when he unleashed the worm on the world from the basement of his parents' home, he said at the outset of proceedings in the northern town of Verden.
Now 19, he said he feels "deep remorse" for what he did and hopes he can one day redeem himself by enhancing anti-virus safety in the computer industry.
He faces charges of altering data, sabotage of computers and disrupting public services.
The media and public were not allowed to attend the trial because he is being tried as a juvenile. J. has told reporters he wrote the original virus, Netsky, on which Sasser was based, before he turned 18 at the end of April 2004.
A weakness in the Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems meant computers spontaneously shut down when hit by the worm. The victims reportedly included the European Commission and Delta Airlines.
The indictment states provable damage of EUR 130,000 occurred, but a prosecutor said earlier that the true cost probably ran to millions of euros. Leading companies had kept the impact of Sasser secret because they were embarrassed at not being better protected.
J. is one the very few virus authors ever to be caught. He reportedly was turned in by a fellow pupil for a reward offered by Microsoft.
Subject: German news