According to PCWorld.com, Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19-years-old from Hopkins, Minnesota has been given a sentence for launching the W32.Blaster-B worm and its variant in August 2003. In a merciful move by Microsoft, the teen will not have to pay back the $497,546.55 owed the software giant. The Blaster-B worm exploited a Microsoft security flaw and in turn launched a Denial of Service attack against Microsoft.
Judge Marsha Pechman will still need to confirm the settlement, which includes an 18-month jail sentence followed by 225 hours of community service. The community service is in exchange for the money owed Microsoft. Microsoft has stated that since Parson, nor his family were in a position to pay back the money owed, that community service was the best option.
According to the settlement, Parson will have to work 75 hours per year for 3 years doing community service and this service cannot involve computers or the Internet. Parson was arrested by the FBI after launching the Blaster-B worm variant. According to PC World, “Parson’s variant used a file name that was identical to a domain name registered in his name. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to trace the domain name to computers owned by Parson, and he was arrested days after his variant appeared.”
Even with so many viruses floating around at any one time on the Internet, it is still rare to see any of the virus creators brought to justice. Hopefully, publicizing this story will deter some hackers from creating and launching their viruses. It’s also good to see that this teen was granted leniency especially because of his young age.
So, the moral of the story is that if you’re feeling creative, why not create something useful like a new software utility instead of a virus. Or create a digital painting. Or do digital basket-weaving. If not, the FBI may just launch its own Denial of Service attack against you. Enough said.