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Romanian Blaster trial kicks off Friday

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A Romanian man accused of creating a variant of the infamous Blaster worm faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted in a trial due to begin this Friday (January 23).

Dan Dumitru Ciobanu, 26, is accused creating a virus variant (Blaster-F) that spread over the intranet of the Hydrotechnical University in the north Romanian City of Iasi in September 2003.

Although the virus affected 27 computers only, Ciobanu faces between three and fifteen years in jail for "unlawful possession of a program and disturbing a computer system".

Researchers from local AV firm BitDefender, who assisted Romanian police in investigating the case, are expected to testify for the prosecution.

The trial is seen as a test of newly-introduced Romanian computer crime laws and will take place at the Iasi county Court of Appeals.

In a similar case, Jeffrey Lee Parson, 18, is charged with creating another Blaster virus variant (Blaster-B). He faces up to ten years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 if convicted.

Meanwhile the author of the original Blaster worm remains at large despite the $250,000 reward offered by Microsoft in November for information leading to an arrest and conviction. ®

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