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FBI arrests Blaster suspect

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Federal authorities have arrested a teenager on suspicion of creating and distributing one of the variants of the prolific Blaster worm earlier this month.

Jeffrey Lee Parson, 18, was arrested today and is due to make a court appearance in St. Paul, Minnesota, this afternoon. His arrest follows a search of his home at Hopkins, Minnesota, by FBI and Secret Service agents on Tuesday, where seven computers were seized.

Parson (AKA teekid or t33kid) reportedly admitted to FBI Special Agent Eric Smithmier that he modified the original Blaster worm and created a more destructive variant. Parson, who's reportedly 6 foot 4 inches tall and weighs 320 pounds, is alleged to have run a website where viruses were available for download.

Investigators believe a separate, as yet unidentified, individual created the original Blaster worm.

"The crime-fighting authorities have moved quickly in this case - sending a strong message that law enforcement agencies around the world are getting better at catching cyber-criminals," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "It is to be hoped that other budding virus writers think twice before unleashing their worms on innocent computer users."

The Blaster-B variant of the worm was released on August 13 two days after the original worm. Like the original, Blaster-B targets the same Remote Procedure Call (RPC) DCOM vulnerability in Windows to spread.

Blaster and variants created widespread network congestion and infected hundreds of thousands of computers. The worm was also programmed to launch a DDoS attack from infected computers on Windowsupdate.com. In the event, this attack failed. ®

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