[ISN] Sasser Worm Creator Charged with Sabotage

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Sep 9 06:41:28 EDT 2004


September 8, 2004
By Associated Press  

BERLIN (AP) - A German teenager who authorities say confessed to
creating the Sasser computer worm in May has been charged with
computer sabotage.

Sven Jaschan, 18, was arrested after telling officials he originally
wanted to create a virus, Netsky, to automatically remove two other
viruses, Mydoom and Bagle, from infected computers. He had developed
several versions of Netsky and, after modifying it, created Sasser.

Sasser, which took advantage of a known flaw with Microsoft Corp.'s
Windows operating system, snarled tens of thousands of computers and
caused Internet traffic to slow.

Unlike most outbreaks, Sasser did not require users to activate it by
clicking on an e-mail attachment; instead, it automatically scanned
the Internet for computers with the security flaw and sent a copy of
itself there.

Prosecutors said they have been contacted by 143 plaintiffs with total
damage claims of $157,000. But because many businesses and individuals
never report such damages, prosecutors believe the actual figure is in
the millions.

In their indictment, prosecutors in Jaschan's home state of Lower
Saxony chose the cases of three German city governments and a public
broadcaster whose systems were disrupted.

Computer sabotage carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Authorities who questioned Jaschan said they got the impression his
motive was to gain fame as a programmer.

He was caught after informants seeking a reward tipped off Microsoft.  
He was arrested sitting at his computer at the house of his mother,
who runs a computer store in the small northern town of Waffensen.

Prosecutors are also investigating several of Jaschan's friends as
suspected accomplices, though none of them have been charged.

No trial date has been set for Jaschan.


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