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July trial for Sasser suspect

Arrest followed tip-off

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The German teenager accused of creating the infamous Sasser worm faces a July trial for computer sabotage offences.

Sven Jaschan, 19, was arrested in the village of Waffensen near Rotenburg, in northern Germany, on suspicion of writing and distributing the Sasser worm in May 2004. He later confessed to police that he was both the author of Sasser and the original author of the NetSky worm. Jaschan's trial, scheduled last week, is due to begin on 5 July in the juvenile court of the German town of Verden.

Sasser is a network aware worm that exploited a well-known Microsoft vulnerability (in Windows Local Security Authority Subsystem Service - MS04-011) to infect thousands of systems in May 2004. 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 (Jaschan's erstwhile friends) 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. ®

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