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30 Mar 2005

Microsoft settles with Blaster-B worm author, Sophos reports

Jeffrey Lee Parson
Jeffrey Lee Parson was sentenced to 18 months jail for the Blaster-B worm.

Microsoft has settled its case against Jeffrey Lee Parson, the author of the Blaster-B internet worm, who was sentenced to 18 months jail in January 2005.

During his court case Parson agreed that his worm, which launched a denial of service attack against Microsoft's website, had cost the company $497,546.55.

Under the terms of the new settlement, Parson will be serving 225 hours of community service once he has been released from prison. Instead of paying back the money, Microsoft has agreed to let Parson perform the unspecified community service "working with less-fortunate members of the community" during three years of supervised release after serving his sentence.

"This settlement probably makes sense. There is no way Parson or his family would have been able to repay Microsoft for the damage caused by the Blaster-B worm," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Parson is already serving a heavy sentence for the crimes he has committed, and it can be hoped that there will be positive results from his subsequent community service."

Under the agreement, Parson will not be allowed to spend his community service in an area involving computers or the internet.

In a poll conducted by Sophos last month, IT administrators vented their anger at those who write viruses - with 53% feeling that Parson's jail sentence was not harsh enough.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.