Blaster worm suspect pleads not guilty in Seattle court

September 18, 2003 Sophos Press Release

Jeffrey Lee Parson, shielding his face after his arrest

Jeffrey Lee Parson, the 18-year-old youth suspected of creating the W32/Blaster-B worm, has pleaded not guilty to charges of causing damage to a computer.

Parson, from Hopkins, Minnesota, appeared in a Seattle court to answer charges that he intentionally caused or attempted to cause damage to a computer. According to media reports, if he is found guilty he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Law enforcement officials claim that Parson admitted creating a variant of the worm when he was arrested. Parson is reported to claim that he is being treated as a scapegoat as the author of the original Blaster worm has not been discovered.

"It's interesting to hear that Parson intends to fight the charges against him," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Anti-Virus. "In the past virus writers such as David L Smith, Simon Vallor and Christopher Pile have pleaded guilty. This could become a real test case for the authorities to see if they can produce convincing evidence in court that will prove a computer crime has been committed."

Parson will next appear in court on 17 November. He has been banned from using the internet, surfing the web or using online chat systems during the course of his trial.