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The self-confessed author of the infamous Sasser worm has been charged with computer sabotage.

Sven Jaschan, 18, was arrested in the village of Waffensen near Rotenburg, in northern Germany, in connection with writing and distributing the Sasser worm back in May. He later confessed to police that he was both the author of Sasser and the original author of the NetSky worm. The computer sabotage charges, announced by prosecutors today, come as little surprise.

AP reports that German prosecutors have picked three German city governments and a broadcaster whose systems were disrupted by Sasser as specimen victims in the prosecution against Jaschan. These organisations were selected from the 143 plaintiffs with estimated damages of $157,000 who have contacted the authorities. All indications are that this is the tip of a very large iceberg.

Jaschan was arrested after a tip-off to Microsoft from individuals hoping to cash in through Microsoft's Anti-Virus Reward Program. Investigators questioned Jaschan's mates on suspicion of assisting his virus writing activities but none have been charged.

It's unclear whether Jaschan will be tried in a regular court, where a sentence of up to five years for computer sabotage can be imposed or a juvenile court. A trial date or venue is yet to be announced. ®

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