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Juvenile arrested in Blaster worm probe

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Federal authorities have arrested another person on suspicion of creating a variant of the infamous Blaster worm. The youth has not been identified for legal reasons.

John McKay, US Attorney for the Western District of Washington, said the accused had been arrested for "intentionally causing damage and attempting to cause damage to protected computers." AP reports that the juvenille is suspected of releasing a variant of the worm known as "RPCSDBOT."

The accusations are of the same form as those faced by Jeffrey Lee Parson, 18, of Hopkins, Minnesota. Earlier this month Parson pleaded not guilty in Seattle to offences arising out of his alleged role in releasing a modified version of the Blaster worm. According to court papers, Blaster-B infected 7000 computers.

Parson, who was arrested in late August, faces one count of "intentionally causing damage to a protected computer", an offence punishable by up to ten years in prison. His trail is scheduled to start on 17 November.

"Computer hackers need to understand that they will be pursued and held accountable for malicious activity, whether they be adults or juveniles," said McKay.

Parson claims the authorities have exaggerated the case against him.

Parson is one of two people already charged with releasing low-spreading variants of the Blaster worm. Dan Dumitru Ciobanu, 24, faces similar charges to Romania.

Neither Blaster-B nor Blaster-F, allegedly created by Parson and Ciobanu respectively, had anything like the impact of the original Blaster worm, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. The original authors of the Blaster worm remain unknown. ®

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