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Blaster Worm Maker Jailed

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Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, was sentenced to 18 months in U.S. District Court in Seattle for creating and distributing the a variant of the infamous Blaster worm.

Jeffrey was also ordered to perform community service, pay restitution and be placed under supervision for three years following the sentence.

U.S. Attrney Jeff Sullivan told the press, “If you use the internet to harm people, it will be investigated and you will be punished,”

A Seattle Post reporter, where the case was tried, elaborates on the sentence …

“U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman noted in sentencing Parson that mental illness led him to virtually imprison himself at home, the only refuge where he could avoid human contact. Pechman likened the Internet to a dungeon for people like Parson, who she said has also had to contend with the loneliness of having neglectful parents.

Federal prosecutors had wanted Parson to serve 37 months — the highest sentence under the plea deal.

Variants of the Blaster worm caused computer networks around the world to collapse in 2003. Parson unleashed a particularly vicious version of the worm in August 2003 that infected more than 48,000 computers, according to a sentencing memo by Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes.

Parson admitted guilt last August to a single count of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer.

His admission was part of the plea agreement that lays out how he modified the worm by inserting a “backdoor” that would give him future access to infected computers, then launching a denial-of-service attack in a failed attempt to overwhelm a Microsoft Web site. Microsoft says it cost the company $1.2 million to clean up Parson’s mess. The case was prosecuted in Seattle because Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, is considered his primary victim.”

The Judge seemed sympothetic to the teen criminal.

“The internet “has created a dark hole, a dungeon if you will, for people who have mental illnesses or people who are lonely,” U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said. “I didn’t see any parent standing there saying, ‘It’s not a healthy thing to lock yourself in a room and create your own reality.’”

Attorneys from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, a Seattle suburb, said that damages could easily amount to more than $1 million.

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Blaster Worm Maker Jailed
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