Blaster-B worm creator pleads guilty, Sophos comments

August 12, 2004 Sophos Press Release

Jeffrey Lee Parson
Jeffrey Lee Parson pictured last year.

As anticipated by Sophos earlier today, Minnesota teenager Jeffrey Lee Parson has pleaded guilty in a Seattle court to damaging computers used by the US Government with a variant of the Blaster worm.

Parson, 19, who has previously pleaded not guilty, changed his plea following months of legal bargaining aimed to reduce his sentence. He is now expected to receive a sentence of between 18 months and 3 years in prison. Prior to the plea bargain he had faced a possible maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Parson, who used the online handle "teekid" or "t33kid", modified the original Blaster worm and created the W32/Blaster-B variant.

A physically imposing figure, at 6-foot-4-inches tall and weighing 320 pounds, Parson ran a website where viruses were made available for download alongside lyrics for songs by Judas Priest, Megadeth and Weird Al Yankovic. He has also admitted that he launched attacks against the websites of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

"Parson's stupidity in writing and releasing a computer worm looks likely to make his life a misery, and that of his loved ones too," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It's a tragedy for him and his family that things ever escalated this far. All those thinking of spreading computer viruses should think long and hard about the possible consequences."

During the course of Parson's trial he was placed under electronic home monitoring, and banned from using the internet.

Sentencing is scheduled to take place on 2 November.

"It should be remembered that Jeffrey Lee Parson was not responsible for the original Blaster worm, which had a much larger impact on businesses and home users than Parson's creation. The identity of the author of the original Blaster worm is still a mystery, with substantial rewards available for information leading to their conviction," continued Cluley.