Sasser Worm

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
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Sasser Worm

I read something today that I couldn’t believe. The author of the Sasser worm, has been sentenced to 21 month’s probation. Sven Jaschan is now 19 but was 17 when he wrote the worm.

The worm was blamed for shutting down British Airways flight check-ins, hospitals and government offices in Hong Kong, part of Australia's rail network, Finnish banks, British Coast Guard stations, and millions of other computers worldwide.

I am all for giving minors a break but this suspended sentence sends a message loud and clear to other kids. Feel free to hack away… Germany wont prosecute you as long as you are under 18.

Microsoft says the virus was part of a growing problem: hackers profiting from Windows vulnerabilities revealed by patches. The virus appeared 18 days after the company posted a patch to fix a flaw, and it attacked computers that hadn't downloaded the patch.

I am concerned about the threat of viruses, spyware, phishing and other threats. These are all problems that reduce people’s trust in computing and has negative effects on e-commerce and web usage in general.

We need mandatory jail sentences for people who write programs with malicious intent designed to damage computers. If we don’t, we can expect more hospitals, railroads and airlines to be shut down.

One day there will likely be a worm or virus so bad, it will serve as a global wake up call.

Hopefully our politicians will realize the risks sooner rather than later.

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