Teen hacker scared of damages claims

17th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 June 2004, VERDEN - The German teenager who admitted programming and releasing the Sasser virus that knocked out millions of computers worldwide in April has said in an interview he is scared he will have to pay damages for the rest of his life.

17 June 2004

VERDEN - The German teenager who admitted programming and releasing the Sasser virus that knocked out millions of computers worldwide in April has said in an interview he is scared he will have to pay damages for the rest of his life.

"I'm worried my life is ruined. How can I possibly repay if lots of damage suits hit me?" Sven Jaschan, 18, told the German weekly Stern.

His lawyer, Jens Moewe, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur there were 30 to 40 claims so far.

"They range from as little as EUR 45 up to EUR 3,500," he said. Moewe said Jaschan was "desperately" seeking a trainee position in the computer industry so he could start earning.

Prosecutors said it was proving remarkably difficult to discover casualties of the virus, with reputed victims failing to return calls. "We've been phoning all over the place to ask organizations or companies if they were hit," said prosecutor Helmut Trentmann.

"I could well imagine they are not very keen to make their poor security public," he added. Prosecutors were chasing up a news report that the British Coastguard suffered an outage because of Sasser.

So far evidence had been collected from 50 private persons and small businesses, two German municipalities and the European Commission.

Sasser was a "worm" that infected unprotected Windows XP computers when they connected to the Internet, and did not need e-mails to spread. Microsoft offers a free programme or patch to prevent it.

Jaschan was detained in May after a tip-off, accused of computer sabotage, and bailed. Trentmann said an indictment was likely next month or in August.

DPA

Subject: German news

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