|Jeffrey Lee Parson has been sentenced to 18
months jail for the Blaster-B worm.
Jeffrey Lee Parson, the teenager from Hopkins, Minnesota, who
wrote the Blaster-B internet
worm which launched an attack against Microsoft's website has been
sentenced to 18 months in prison and 100 hours of community service
by a US District Court.
Parson's worm, the court heard, infected 48,000 computers and
caused an estimated $1.2 million in damage when it spread in August
"An 18 month prison sentence is probably the best that Jeffrey
Parson could have realistically hoped for. The US authorities have
demonstrated their determination to deal with virus writers and
other cybercriminals," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "Parson's sentence sends out a
strong message to other young people that writing viruses is a
fool's game. Parson and his parents will be regretting the day he
decided to get involved in virus-writing."
Parson, who went by the online handle of "Teekid", based his
virus upon the virulent Blaster-A worm which exploited a serious
security hole in Microsoft's software as it spread around the
Parson, a physically imposing figure at 6-foot-4-inches tall and
weighing 320 pounds, included a link inside the worm to his website
where he made viruses available for download alongside lyrics for
songs by Judas Priest, Megadeth and Weird Al Yankovic.
US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman additionally imposed
three years of supervised release following Parson's prison term,
during which he can only use computers for business and education
purposes - not video games, file-sharing or hacking. Pechman told
Parson to complete 100 hours of community service - 10 hours a
month for 10 months - and said she would give him credit for SAT or
other classes as long as he takes the courses with live people, and
not over the internet.
"You can't help but feel sorry for Jeffrey Parson - he was
clearly a kid with issues, who got mixed up in a game with far
bigger consequences than he could have ever imagined," continued
Cluley. "It must not be forgotten that the identity of the author
of the original
Blaster worm, who infected many many more computers than
Parson, is still a mystery. Despite a $250,000 bounty on their
head - we are still no closer to unmasking the culprit. Jeffrey
Parson is small fry when compared to the major virus-writing
criminals who are still at large."
In January 2003, Welsh teenage virus writer, Simon Vallor, was
sentenced to two
years in jail for distributing a number of viruses he had