[ISN] Prosecutors ask 37-month sentence for Hopkins teen in Internet worm case

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Jan 26 02:31:10 EST 2005

Forwarded from: William Knowles <wk at c4i.org>


Paul Levy
Star Tribune 
January 26, 2005
Jeffrey Lee Parson, the Hopkins teenager who unleashed an Internet
worm that infected an estimated 48,000 computers and caused more than
$1 million in damage, should be sentenced to 37 months in prison,
according to a formal recommendation made by federal prosecutors

Parson's sentencing is scheduled for Friday in U.S. District Court in
Seattle. Parson, 19, who was arrested during his senior year at
Hopkins High School, pleaded guilty in August to releasing the widely
publicized Internet virus.

"Parson's worm was not an aberrant moment in a young person's life,
but instead was just the latest in a string of escalating efforts by
Parson to take over other people's computers, destroy their web sites,
and otherwise use his computer skills for his own selfish amusement,
personal gain and/or to harm others," U.S. Attorney John McKay and
assistant U.S. attorney Annette L. Hayes wrote in their sentencing

The prosecutors then requested that Judge Marsha J. Pechman sentence
Parson to 37 months in prison -- the maximum he could be sentenced
under a plea agreement that suggested a sentence between 1½ years and
three years and one month.

But Parson's attorneys had hoped for a much lighter sentence -- six
months in prison with three years supervised probation, according to a
notification sent to the U.S. Probation and U.S. Attorney's offices
six days ago.

The defense attorneys also wrote that Parsons should spend an
additional six months in a community treatment center and another six
months in home detention.

Prosecutors said that if the judge follows the sentencing
recommendation of Parson's attorneys, the plea agreement will be
withdrawn and Parsons must stand trial.

Parson's worm was a variant of the original Blaster worm that
victimized millions of computer users, whether in homes or on
corporate networks, the prosecutors wrote in their recommendation to
the court. The original Blaster virus cost computer users their e-mail
access while shutting down government agencies, large banks and
transportation systems.

The original Blaster worm also had a large impact on Microsoft
Corporation. The virus directed the infected computers to launch a
denial-of-service attack against domain names through which Microsoft
distributes security information to its customers.

Parson "had a key role in causing all this damage" because he released
a variant of the original Blaster worm "knowing what the worm was
capable of doing, and intending to damage individual computer users
and Microsoft," the prosecutors wrote.

Parson's worm was responsible for about $1.22 million in damage,
according to the prosecutors' estimates. Parson's virus included a
program that, when loaded on a targeted computed, allowed other
computers access to private files, the prosecutors wrote.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 320-pound Parson, known online as "teekid," was the
first person arrested in connection with the Blaster attacks. Upon his
arrest in August 2003, experts said there was no reason to believe
Parsons knew Blaster's original author.

Parson is being sentenced in Seattle, where the Blaster investigation

"Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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