Feeds

Blaster copycat author jailed for 18 months

Parson escapes with minimum sentence

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
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.
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.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.