Feeds

Blaster copycat author jailed for 18 months

Parson escapes with minimum sentence

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Jeffrey Lee Parson, author of a variant of the infamous Blaster worm, has been jailed for 18 months. The 19-year-old was also ordered to serve 100 hours of community service and spend three years on probation following his release at a sentencing hearing at the US District Court in Seattle last Friday (28 January).

Rather than risk going to prison for up to ten years, Parson pleaded guilty to "intentionally causing damage to a protected computer" in making a plea bargaining agreement last year. The sentence imposed by US District Judge Marsha Pechman was at the lowest end of the 18 and 37 months of federal time stipulated under this agreement. Judge Pechman took Parson's history of mental health problems and "grim home life" into account as mitigation to his crimes when deciding a sentence, The Seattle Times reports.

Parson, from Hopkins, Minnesota, created Blaster-B 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.

Blaster and its variants are internet worms which spread through exploiting a well-known vulnerability in Microsoft Windows - specifically a critical Remote Procedure Call (RPC) DCOM flaw. 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.

The original Blaster worm infected about one million computers in the summer of 2003. Parson's variant hit far fewer computers - infecting approximately 48,000 PCs and causing an estimated $1.2m in damage, according to court filings. A hearing to decide how much in restitution Parson will be required to pay to Microsoft and others affected by his malware is due to take place in February. ®

Related stories

Blaster worm spreading rapidly
Blaster worm variants make mischief
Blaster rewrites Windows worm rules
FBI arrests Blaster suspect
Feds sexed up case Blaster suspect
Blaster teen pleads guilty
Lawyers demand hard time for Blaster teen
MS puts $250k bounty on virus authors' heads

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.