By John Blau
IDG News Service
German teenager Sven Jaschan confessed at his trial Tuesday to
creating last year's Sasser computer worm that crashed hundreds of
thousands of computers worldwide after spreading at lightning speed
over the Internet.
Jaschan's admission is a reiteration of the confession he made last
year when he was arrested . He is on trial in the city of Verden,
Germany, where he faces charges of computer sabotage, data
manipulation and disruption of public systems.
The 19-year-old teenager admitted to the alleged offenses "in every
detail," Verden District Court spokeswoman Katharina Kr=FCtzfeldt said
in a telephone interview.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison but
Kr=FCtzfeldt said that Jaschan, who was 17 and a minor at the time of
his arrest, will face a lesser penalty. The penalty could be a warning
or some form of public service work, but also confinement in a
juvenile detention center.
Jaschan could also face civil lawsuits brought against him by
companies whose IT systems were infected by the computer worm,
according to Kr=FCtzfeldt. "This is a possibility that could happen
after his trial in Verden," she said.
The indictment lists 142 companies, according to Kr=FCtzfeldt. It
includes several big companies that reported attacks, including the
German postal company Deutsche Post and Delta Airlines.
Although security experts estimate the damages caused by the worm to
be in the millions of dollars, Kr=FCtzfeldt said the indictment lists an
amount of around =80130,000 ($155,000).
At the time of his arrest in May 2004, Jaschan had confessed to
creating the computer worm and several variants of the Netsky virus.
He was arrested at the family's home in Waffensen, Germany, after
Microsoft received a tip from an informant seeking a reward from the
Sasser, a self-executing piece of software code, exploited a hole in a
component of Windows called the Local Security Authority Subsystem
Service, or LSASS. The worm scanned the Internet searching for
On April 13, Microsoft had released a software patch, MS04-011, which
plugs the LSASS hole, but many companies and individuals had not
installed it in time to prevent the Sasser worm from affecting their
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