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Sasser creator hangs on conviction

Date: September 15, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Dmitri Kramarenko

Sven Jaschan, the supposed author of the Sasser virus and several variants of the Netsky virus, was charged last week by German police, but the informant who led authorities to the suspect will have to wait for a promised $250,000 (140,000) reward, Microsoft officials said on Friday.

The charges are the latest success for Microsoft's virus bounty effort. Although the software giant has placed quarter-million-dollar bounties on the heads of those responsible for the MSBlast worm, the Sobig virus and the MyDoom virus, no arrests have yet been made in those cases. The arrest of the author of a minor variant of the MSBlast worm predated the award programme.

The Sasser worm and its six known variants have compromised hundreds of thousands of computers running Microsoft Windows, with some estimates putting the number of infected systems in the millions. The Netsky virus and its more than 30 variants, most of which Jaschan is also accused of creating, have likely infected hundreds of thousands of computers as well.

Nigam would not speculate on whether Microsoft would withhold payment if the informant is found to have also written viruses, a suspicion that the German police are reportedly pursuing.

"We would love to provide the reward once a conviction is reached," he said.

Cluley believes that Jaschan created the Sasser worm and Netsky viruses but may have had help writing and distributing them, which could mean more arrests are on the way.


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