Feeds

Blaster teen pleads guilty

Script kiddie faces up to 3 years' jail

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

A Minnesota teenager pleaded guilty yesterday to unleashing a variant of the Blaster worm last August.

Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, of Hopkins, Minnesota, admitted "intentionally causing damage to a protected computer" before a federal judge in Seattle yesterday as part of a plea bargaining arrangement. He faces between 18 to 37 months in prison for his crime instead of a maximum sentence of ten years in jail. Parson may also be ordered to pay a fine, which could run into millions of dollars, according to Assistant US Attorney Annette Hayes.

Parson created the Blaster-B variant of the worm after modifying the original Blaster worm and launching it onto the Internet in early August 2003. Blaster-B launched a distributed denial-of-service attack against a Microsoft's Windows update website from infected computers.

The original Blaster worm infected about one million computers last summer, the Seattle Times reports. Parson's variant hit far fewer computers. In his plea agreement, Parson admitted using his variant of Blaster worm to commandeer 50 computers which he then used to launch a broader attack on more than 48,000 computers, Reuters reports. Parson's defence team says the number of infected computers is lower than this.

"We need to keep this case in perspective," said Carole Theriault, security consultant at AV firm Sophos. "The Blaster-B variant didn't spread with anything like as much ferocity as the original. Blaster-A's author has yet to be tracked down, despite the bounty on his or her head. It's important that Parson is punished for his wrongdoing, and not be made a scapegoat for the whole Blaster epidemic."

Blaster and its variants are Internet worms which spread through exploiting a well-known vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. Blaster-B is functionally equivalent to its predecessor but creates a file called teekids.exe - rather than msblast.exe - in the Windows system folder. Parson's online handle is "teekid" or "t33kid". This and various other clues led the authorities to his door and he was arrested on 29 August 2003.

Since his arrest, Parson has been out of jail on $25,000 bail and has been under electronic home monitoring. He initially denied the charges against him but changed his plea yesterday. Parson faces a sentencing hearing before US District Judge Marsha Pechman on 12 November. ®

Related stories

FBI arrests Blaster suspect
Parson not dumbest virus writer ever, shock!
Feds sexed up case Blaster suspect
MS puts $250k bounty on virus authors' heads
Blaster rewrites Windows worm rules
Blaster worm variants make mischief
Windows Update still standing despite Blaster

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.