Sasser worm trial begins in Germany, Sophos reports

July 05, 2005 Sophos Press Release

The vulnerability exploited by the Sasser worm was described by Microsoft as critical
The vulnerability exploited by the Sasser worm was described by Microsoft as critical.

The trial of the German teenager accused of writing the Sasser worm which hit Windows computers around the world last year has begun in Germany.

Sven Jaschan, 19, is being tried behind closed doors in the town of Verden in the north west of Germany. Because he was under 18 years of age at the time of the alleged offences which included computer sabotage, disrupting public services and illegally altering data, he is likely to escape the maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Jaschan did not speak to reporters as he entered the courthouse through a side door.

The Sasser worms, which did not spread via email, exploited a software vulnerability described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-011 to infect computers connected to the internet. Businesses around the world were disrupted as their computers were infected.

"The Sasser worm infected computers connected to the internet at a breathtaking speed - making it one of the fastest spreading viruses of all time," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Everyone has to realise that releasing a computer worm is not just stupid. It's also a crime which can seriously disrupt businesses and cost money to computer users around the globe."

In the past virus writers such as David L Smith, Simon Vallor and Christopher Pile have been sentenced to jail for damage caused by their malicious code. Jaschan is being tried as a juvenile and will probably escape a prison sentence if convicted.