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25 Oct 2004

Sasser computer worm trial delayed, Sophos reports

Sven Jaschan holds a computer keyboard in front of his face
After his arrest Sven Jaschan was photographed and interviewed by Stern magazine about his virus-writing activities.

The trial of Sven Jaschan, the German teenager who confessed to authoring the Sasser worm which struck computers worldwide earlier this year, has been delayed until January 2005.

A court in the North German town of Verden is said to have decided to delay the case until 2005 because it proved impossible to agree an earlier date with all the parties involved.

Jaschan's Netsky and Sasser worms accounted for over 70% of all the virus incidents reported to Sophos during the first half of 2004. Even today, months after his arrest, the Netsky worms dominate the list of most commonly sighted viruses.

18-year-old Jaschan was charged in September of computer sabotage amounting to a total of $157,000. However, because many businesses did not report the damage done by the worms to their computer systems, prosecutors believe the real figure is in the millions. Recently, a German company controversially announced that they had hired him to help develop their internet security software.

"A strong message needs to be sent out to the computer underground that writing and distributing viruses is criminal behaviour," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Home users and companies around the world who were struck by the Netsky and Sasser worms will be watching with interest to see what happens in this case."

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.