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Sasser teenager confesses to court

Antony Savvas

On the first day of his trial Sven Jaschan has admitted writing the Sasser worm, which infected millions of computers around the world. 

Katharina Kruetzfeldt, a spokesperson for the closed-doors tribunal, said that 19-year-old Jaschan had confessed during the hearing that he was responsible for unleashing the malicious code that attacked vulnerable Windows computers in 2004. 

“Admitting his involvement was a sensible move by Jaschan,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for security software company Sophos. “The court is likely to respond with a lenient sentence on account of his age at the time of the offences.”

Jaschan unleashed the Sasser worm at the end of April 2004. The malicious code spread quickly via the internet, striking many organisations including the UK coastguard service and Taiwan’s national post office. 

The following month, one of Jaschan’s school-friends is believed to have revealed the worm’s author to Microsoft, who tipped off the German authorities.

The tribunal is continuing to hear evidence. If convicted, Jaschan is expected to be sentenced by the end of the week.


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