[ISN] Teen Sentenced for Releasing Blaster Worm Variant

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Mon Jan 31 04:06:47 EST 2005

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


By Gene Johnson
Associated Press Writer
January 28, 2005

SEATTLE -- A Minnesota teenager was sentenced Friday to 18 months in
prison for unleashing a variant of the Blaster Internet worm in 2003
that he programmed to attack a Microsoft Corp. Web site.

Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, of Hopkins, Minn., was a high school senior
when he downloaded and modified the worm.

His variant launched a distributed denial-of-service attack against a
Microsoft site as well as personal computers. The government estimated
Parson's Blaster version crippled more than 48,000 computers.

Parson initially pleaded innocent, but changed his plea to guilty last
summer to one count of intentionally causing or attempting to cause
damage to a protected computer.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said she was sentencing him at the
low end of the agreed-upon range because although he was 18 at the
time of the attack his maturity level was much younger than that.

Parson will serve his time at a low-security prison. He had faced a
maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"I know I've made a huge mistake and I hurt a lot of people and I feel
terrible," Parson told the judge.

He will still have to pay restitution to Microsoft and to people whose
computers were affected in an amount to be determined at a hearing set
for Feb. 10.

The judge imposed three years of supervised release following his
prison term, during which Parson can only use computers for business
and education. She also ordered him to complete 100 hours of community

Pechman told Parson: "What you've done is a terrible thing. Aside from
injuring individuals and their computers you shook the foundation of
the system."

Authorities have said Parson admitted that he previously launched
attacks against other organizations, including the Motion Picture
Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of

Collectively, different versions of the virus-like worm, alternately
called LovSan or Blaster, snarled corporate computer networks
worldwide, affecting millions of machines.

Parson told investigators he built into his version of the Blaster
worm a method for reconnecting to victim computers later, according to
court papers. Infected computers automatically registered themselves
with Parson's Web site so he could keep track of them.

Parson was charged in Seattle because Microsoft is based in suburban
Redmond. He had been out of jail on a $25,000 pretrial bond pending

He was not allowed to leave his home in Minnesota except to go to
work, or if supervised and preapproved by the court.

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without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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