July 7, 2005
BERLIN (Reuters) - Prosecutors have asked for a two-year suspended
jail sentence for the man who wrote the Sasser Internet worm that
wreaked havoc in big businesses and homes worldwide last year, a
German court said on Thursday.
The court in the western town of Verden said the defense had argued
for a one-year probation as a maximum sentence for 19-year-old Sven
Jaschan, who has confessed to creating the worm and pleaded guilty to
The prosecution also wants Jaschan to perform 200 hours of community
service during a three-year probationary period, the court -- expected
to announce a verdict on Friday -- said in a statement. Jaschan has
admitted to data manipulation, computer sabotage and interfering with
public services after the Internet attack which knocked out an
estimated 1 million computers among home users and companies from
early May 2004.
Sasser victims ranged from the British Coastguard to the European
Commission, Goldman Sachs and Australia's Westpac Bank. Some security
firms called it the most destructive worm ever.
The Sasser worm disabled computers by spreading on the ubiquitous
Microsoft Windows operating system.
Because he was still a minor when some of the events occurred, media
and the public were not allowed to attend the trial of the computer
studies' student. He could face a maximum jail sentence of five years
according to German law.
Jaschan, who authorities described as a "computer freak," was
identified as the author after Microsoft offered a reward of $250,000
for information leading to his arrest.
It is believed he began creating programs, including the Netsky virus,
to seek out and destroy other viruses.
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