Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Sasser worm suspect goes on trial

Filed under

A German teenager responsible for the Sasser computer worm pandemic goes on trial Tuesday. He faces charges of computer sabotage, data manipulation and disruption of public systems.

The Sasser worm didn’t require users to receive an email or open a file to be infected -- just having a vulnerable Windows machine connected to the Internet was enough.

The IT departments of many organizations were caught unawares, and the worm spread further. At the European Commission in Brussels, 1,200 computers shut down. In the United States, Delta Airlines was forced to cancel several flights.

In the German city of Hanover, staff at the Post Bank took a step back in time and recorded transactions on paper. And in Seattle, Microsoft promised a reward of $250,000 (210,000 euros) for information leading to the responsible hacker.

By exploiting a known hole in the local security component of Windows operating system, the worm spread quickly, infecting hundreds of thousands of computers in just a few days, overloading processors and forcing systems into an unstoppable pattern of shutting down, then rebooting. It apparently did no lasting harm.

Microsoft had issued a security bulletin and a patch to correct the problem two weeks earlier, but only the companies and individuals who installed the update were protected.

It's estimated that the economic cost of the Sasser worm attack ran into millions of dollars, and it was all caused by Sven Jaschan, an 18-year-old school student working from his basement in the small North German village of Waffensen.

Attracted by the reward, two of the hacker’s schoolmates tipped off Microsoft, who then informed the police.

Seven days after the worm was released, police arrested the hacker and seized his computer as evidence. After confessing, the youth was released, and within 5 months was employed as an IT trainee at Securepoint, a German software security company. But now it’s time for the now-19-year-old to face the music -- more or less.

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Games Chronicon, BROKE PROTOCOL, Internet Archive

  • 2D action RPG 'Chronicon' to arrive on Linux with the next big update
    The colourful action RPG Chronicon [Steam, Official Site] should arrive on Linux with the next big update, the developer has said.
  • BROKE PROTOCOL is like a low-poly GTA Online and it's coming to Linux
    BROKE PROTOCOL [Steam], a low-poly open-world action game that's a little like GTA Online and it's coming to Linux.
  • The Internet Archive Just Uploaded a Bunch of Playable, Classic Handheld Games
    The non-profit Internet Archive is perhaps best known for its Wayback Machine that takes snap shots of web sites so you can see what they looked like in the past. However, it also has a robust side project where it emulates and uploads old, outdated games that aren’t being maintained anymore. Recently, the organization added a slew of a unique kind of game that’s passed into memory: handheld LCD electronic games. The games–like Mortal Kombat, depicted above–used special LCD screens with preset patterns. They could only display the exact images in the exact place that they were specified for. This meant the graphics were incredibly limited and each unit could only play the one game it was designed to play. A Game Boy, this was not.
  • Internet Archive emulator brings dozens of handheld games back from obscurity
    Over the weekend, the Internet Archive announced it was offering a new series of emulators. This time, they’re designed to mimic one of gaming’s most obscure artifacts — handheld games. When I say a “handheld game,” I don’t mean the Game Boy or the PSP — those are handheld consoles. These are single-game handheld or tabletop devices that look and feel more like toys. The collection includes the very old, mostly-forgotten games sold in mini-handhelds from the 80s onward.

Linux Foundation Videos and Projects

LibrePlanet free software conference celebrates 10th anniversary, this weekend at MIT, March 24-25

This weekend, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) present the tenth annual LibrePlanet free software conference in Cambridge, March 24-25, 2018, at MIT. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels. LibrePlanet's tenth anniversary theme is "Freedom Embedded." Embedded systems are everywhere, in cars, digital watches, traffic lights, and even within our bodies. We've come to expect that proprietary software's sinister aspects are embedded in software, digital devices, and our lives, too: we expect that our phones monitor our activity and share that data with big companies, that governments enforce digital restrictions management (DRM), and that even our activity on social Web sites is out of our control. This year's talks and workshops will explore how to defend user freedom in a society reliant on embedded systems. Read more Also: FSF Blogs: Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: March 23rd starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC