Teenager who launched Sasser worm indicted

8th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 September 2004 , VERDEN - Sven J., the 18-year-old German who admitted to police that he programmed and released the Sasser virus earlier this year, has been indicted with computer espionage, prosecutors said Wednesday. Sasser began knocking out Windows computers around the globe in late April, forcing millions of users without the necessary computer skills to pay for help to repair them. Corporate networks were also shut down for hours or days. J., whose name was withheld in line with ethics guidelines,

8 September 2004

VERDEN - Sven J., the 18-year-old German who admitted to police that he programmed and released the Sasser virus earlier this year, has been indicted with computer espionage, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Sasser began knocking out Windows computers around the globe in late April, forcing millions of users without the necessary computer skills to pay for help to repair them. Corporate networks were also shut down for hours or days.

J., whose name was withheld in line with ethics guidelines, was reportedly turned in by a classmate at vocational training school after Microsoft offered a reward of USD 250,000 (EUR 208,000).

Prosecutors in Verden, northern Germany, said the estimated damage from Sasser and its predecessor NetSky amounted to millions of euros. It had collected depositions from 143 persons who reported a total of EUR 130,000 in damage.

In June, shy J. told the German magazine Stern in an interview that he had begun writing viruses in January, initially with the idea of creating a worm to wipe the MyDoom virus from infected PCs, but soon came to enjoy the "game".

He told of watching the evening news and seeing his own Netsky virus mentioned or hearing the name Netsky and thinking it was a nice name for his virus. Viruses are named by antivirus experts, not the virus authors.

He said classmates admired him and helped him spread Netsky from February onwards. "We died laughing," he said of the time when virus experts wondered if Russian text found within Netsky implied East European programmers.

Prosecutors did not indicate immediately whether J. would be tried as a minor. According to Stern, he did not release Sasser until the day after he became legally adult. He turned 18 on 29 April.

DPA

Subject: German news 
 

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