A web poll of more than 550 business PC users, conducted by
Sophos, has revealed that 78% believe that last Friday's sentencing of Sven
Jaschan, the German teenager found guilty of writing and
distributing the Netsky and Sasser worms, was not harsh enough.
A further 17% of respondents agreed with the North Germany court
decision, which sentenced Jaschan to one year and nine months on
probation and 30 hours community service.
A mere 5% felt this sentence was too severe.
In 2003, Sophos polled computer users on Welsh virus writer
Vallor's sentence of a 2-year custodial sentence - 61% of those
surveyed believed a prison term was the most appropriate sentence
for anyone who writes and distributes a virus.
"With almost 80% of those surveyed saying Jaschan's sentence was
too lenient, it seems that many computer users aren't convinced
justice has been served," said Carole Theriault, security
consultant at Sophos. "Perhaps even more interesting about the
Jaschan sentencing is Microsoft splashing out US $250,000 to the
two unidentified people who helped track Jaschan down - especially
when speculation hints that these people are teenagers who may have
had some involvement with Jaschan. It's good to see Microsoft
taking strong action against such crimes, but it might struggle if
it has to shell out big bucks for every virus writer who gets
Microsoft offers bounties for information leading to the
successful prosecution of cyber criminals who attack its software.
Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel Nancy
Anderson stated, "It has been important and gratifying to
collaborate with and support law enforcement in this case, and
we're glad to provide a monetary reward to those individuals who
provided credible information that helped the German police
authorities solve this case."