Computer Crime Research Center


Sasser creator escapes prison

Date: July 12, 2005
Source: ZDNet UK
By: Joris Evers

30 hours of community service and a suspended jail sentence have been handed down to Sven Jaschan after he admitted writing the Sasser worm

A German judge on Friday handed down a suspended sentence of one year and nine months to the teenager who admitted he created last year's Sasser computer worm.

In addition, 19-year-old Sven Jaschan has to complete 30 hours of community service while on probation, the court in Verden, Germany, said in a statement. The probationary period is three years. Jaschan will have to fulfil the community service part of his sentence in a retirement home or a hospital, the court said.

Jaschan was found guilty on four counts of altering data and three counts of computer sabotage. The sentence marks one of few successful prosecutions of a virus writer. Authors of malicious code have typically proved difficult for law enforcement to track and catch.

During his trial, Jaschan admitted to charges of data manipulation, computer sabotage and interfering with public corporations. The trial started on Tuesday and ended on Friday. It was held behind closed doors because Jaschan was a minor at the time of the crime.

The Sasser worm and its six known variants started spreading in May 2004 and compromised hundreds of thousands of computers running the Windows operating system. Sasser exploited a flaw in the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems and caused PCs to crash and reboot.

The suspended sentence was expected. In closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutors asked for a two-year suspended sentence with a three-year probation period. Jaschan's defense argued for a one-year suspended sentence.
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