Biological source of virus isolated

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The alleged author of the notorious Sasser virus has been arrested and is now on trial in the German town of Verden, accused of causing $157,000 worth of damage to government property, as well as additional charges of illegally altering data and computer sabotage. Sven Jaschan was turned in by a school classmate, no doubt influenced not by justice, but by the quarter of a million dollar reward offered by Microsoft. The Sasser worm is one of the most destructive and persistent computer virus attackers ever, accounting for well over half of all virus activity on the Internet in 2004, along with another bit of code also authored by Jascher (the Netsky virus) and continues to be a threat, albeit a decreasing one as the vulnerability is patched. Unfortuanately, there are thousands of computer users unaware of the threat still, and blind to the techniques necessary to seal the hole. The virus exploited the Windows LSASS security service, hence the name.

As Jaschan was 17 at the time the virus was distributed, he is being tried as a juvenile and will escape the maximum penalty of 5 years, as well as falling under the provision that the trial be held behind closed doors.

Apparently, the German government and Microsoft were among the last to know, as the German security firm Securepoint hired Jaschan for a “certain know-how” regarding electronic security. The contract details are unknown, but this sends a clear message to script kiddies everywhere: Whoever does the most damage gets a contract. Hell of a resume…

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