Sasser Worm Creator Arrested

    July 5, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

His motive was to gain fame as a programmer. Fame is what the German teen got, as well as arrested for creating one of the most effective computer worms in history.

Sven Jaschan, 19, is to stand trial in a Verdan, Germany court for creating and propagating the famed “Sasser” worm that caused a computer infection epidemic worldwide. The trial will take place even though Jaschan offered his confession. German law requires a trial with no plea entered on behalf of the defendant.

A minor at the time of the incident, Jaschan will face lesser consequences if convicted of computer sabotage, disrupting public services, and illegally altering data. The court room will be closed to the media because the offenses involve a minor.

Court spokesperson Katharina Kruetzfeld said that Jaschan “admitted to the alleged offenses in every detail.

The young man told officials that he originally engineered program as a virus to combat other famous viruses, “Mydoom” and “Bagle.” He intended “Netsky.A” as a program to remove them from infected computers. But through steady development of the Netsky.A virus, Jaschan discovered how to modify the program until it became the ill-fated Sasser worm.

What made Sasser unique was that it did not require user activation through email attachments. The worm automatically scanned networks of companies using Windows 2000 and XP operating systems and then exploited a security flaw to enter the network. Infected computers would continually crash and reboot.

He was arrested while sitting at his computer at his mother’s house just after he released a new version of Sasser aimed at reducing the damage the worm had inflected.

Microsoft Corp. delivered the information that led to Jaschan’s arrest after an informant accepted a cash reward.