Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Teenager gets suspended sentence for Internet worm

Filed under
Legal

The German teen-ager who wrote the Sasser Internet worm was convicted of computer sabotage on Friday and given a suspended jail sentence of one year and nine months.

A court in the northwestern German town of Verden said Sven Jaschan, 19, concocted his plans over a long period and worked with "mischievous delight" to create new, better and faster versions of the worm, which spread over the Microsoft Windows operating system in May 2004. "His goal was to improve the computer worm he programmed, especially increasing the speed with which it spread and thus to maximize the damage he intended to cause," the court said.

"He was in competition with others and caused immense, incalculable damage."

Jaschan had confessed to creating the worm, which knocked out an estimated one million computers in homes and businesses.

Sasser victims ranged from the British Coastguard to the European Commission, Goldman Sachs and Australia's Westpac Bank. Some security firms called it the most destructive worm ever.

Described by authorities as a "computer freak," he pleaded guilty to charges of data manipulation, computer sabotage and interfering with public services.

However, because he was 17 when the crimes were committed, Jaschan was tried in a youth court and his punishment was far short of the maximum sentence of five years in jail for computer sabotage under German law.

The court said that, while Jaschan had acted with "great intensity and shown enormous criminal energy," he had not done so for material gain. It noted he had been in a "difficult social situation."

NEED FOR RECOGNITION "He was very introverted and extremely shy at that time and was not integrated into his school class, which meant he had a strong need for recognition which he could achieve through his special abilities as a programmer," the court said.

"In addition, the court took into account the behavior of the accused after the act. He showed it was possible for him to complete a decent education with obvious success and achieve stable relationships."

Prosecutors had called for a two-year suspended sentence and 200 hours of community service. The defense argued for a maximum sentence of one year's probation.

Court spokeswoman Katharina Kruetzfeldt said Jaschan had also been ordered to do 30 hours' community service.

Microsoft, which offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to Jaschan's arrest, told Reuters the case showed it was ready to move quickly to identify and hold responsible the authors of damaging computer worms and viruses.

"Microsoft Corp. commends German law enforcement for its work on the arrest and conviction of the Sasser worm author," the company added.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Mint Debian Might Not Adopt Systemd

The Linux Mint team has ended 2014 in force with a great Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" release, for both the MATE and Cinnamon desktop, but it looks like the Debian edition is also going to be interesting. Read more

Latest SteamOS Update Brings New NVIDIA and AMD Drivers

SteamOS, a Linux distribution based on Debian and developed by Valve that aims to provide the best gaming experience, has been updated by its makers and a new Beta version has been released. Read more

Your Old Computer Can Live Again with Emmabuntüs 2

Emmabuntüs 2 1.09, a distribution created for reconditioning old computers and relying on the robustness of Xubuntu 12.04.5 LTS, has been released and is now ready for download. The Emmabuntüs developers only use LTS editions of Xubuntu, and that means they actually have two distros out right now that are maintained and improved. We had Emmabuntüs 3 1.0 released a few weeks ago, but that one was using Xubuntu 14.04 LTS as the base. Now, the old branch based on Xubuntu 12.04, Emmabuntüs 2, has been improved as well and the devs have made quite a few changes. Read more

11 years developing Krita

Back in 2003 Krita had never been released and the application was only able to do some very crude painting. I think the main reason that I started contributing to Krita back then was that I was much more comfortable with the single window UI and the fact that it used Qt/KDE and C++. In the early days I would never have imagined that I would be still with the project after 10+ years and how big the project is now. Even that the project exists today is a miracle and result of many developers putting in effort without ever knowing how it would develop. For the first few years we had almost no users and the users that we had were die-hard KDE users. At the time that wasn’t a bad thing as it allowed us to do some radical changes and experiments. Many features that were developed during this time still provide the base for the current Krita. Read more