|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.