Blaster-B Worm Author Gets 18 Months in Jail

The man convicted of authoring the Blaster-B worm has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
The man convicted of authoring the Blaster worm has been sentenced to 18 months in jail and 10 months of community service.

Jeffrey Lee Parson admitted to writing the Blaster-B worm, which the prosecution claimed infected 48,000 computers and caused $1.2 million in damage back in the late summer of 2003. Before reaching a plea bargain, Parson had faced a possible maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He was 18 at the time of his arrest.

''An 18-month prison sentence is probably the best that Jeffrey Parson could have realistically hoped for,'' says Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Inc., an anti-virus and anti-spam company based in Lynnfield, Mass. ''The U.S. authorities have demonstrated their determination to deal with virus writers and other cybercriminals. 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, according to Sophos, went by the online handle of 'Teekid'. He wrote the Blaster-B worm which was functionally equivalent to the much more widespread Blaster-A worm, exploiting a Microsoft security vulnerability in order to spread across the net. According to sources at Sophos, the worm also included some offensive text directed towards Microsoft, Bill Gates, and the anti-virus industry.

As part of the plea bargain agreed upon last year, Parson admitted he created the Blaster-B worm on his home computer in Hopkins, Minn. Based on the plea deal, the virus writer could have expected to receive between 18 months and 3 years in prison.

Despite the damage that Blaster-B inflicted, Parson was not the original Blaster author. Someone else was responsible for creating Blaster-A.

''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,'' says Cluley. ''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.''






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