This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
Sven Jaschan author of Sasser and Netsky , and 6 of the top 10 viruses in 2004, which were responsible for 70% of the disruption:
" The only thing I can do is apologise to everyone."
Some 50 people and organisations including a major German city have enclosed their bill for compensation to the investigators.
Sven added. "I am scared that my future is destroyed; that my life has gone down the pan.How can I pay anything if I am found liable for all those damages." [ August 23, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Originally posted by Thomas Paul: Why isn't Sven in prison?
The big anti-virus software companies like Sophos in Oxfordshire ,calculate that there are anything between 60,000 and 90,000 viruses ,worms and other malware. New ones join them at a rate of 600 to 1000 every month. Very few pose a major threat. A few trigger the highest alert level.
Some of the most damaging in recent years The Loveletter, one of the first to use social engineering to spread itself masquerading as a love lettter to get the recipients to double-click on attachments. The love letter originated in the Philippines, the author appearing to have written it for his university thesis.It is the first serious global virus to have mailed itself to all contacts in an address book.
An equally cunning variant :
"Thank you for purchasing a 24 carat diamond ring. We have debited your account with $5000. If this is not correct please click on the attachment below."
The Blaster was another high level threat infecting all computers that were infectable within 15 minutes of the virus being released.
Back to Sven Jaschan, he will only be charged with "computer sabotage" if a valid case canbe assembled. An uphill struggle according to the state prosecutor. Many of the corporate vitims are reluctant to come forward with evidence because the sysadmins don't want to admit their systems were vulnerable.
Even if Jaschan is convicted he is unlikely to face the maximum penalty because he created the worm before his 18th birthday. Allegedly. On the evening of his 18th birthday on 29th April he released the virus.
Besides people who know him say he is just a juvenile who didn't realise his virus would have such a complex worldwide result.
Calls to Microsoft's Munich HQ shot up from 400 per week to 35,000 that week. His IT teachers say that he isn't by any measure the computing genius in the class. Other schoolmates are far better. One of them shopped him in claiming the $135,000 anti-virus reward Microsoft promised. [ August 23, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Joined: May 05, 2000
18 year olds are not juveniles. He should be in prison as a warning to others. Failure to punish him will simply give license to every 16 year old to flood the world with new viruses.
Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Major obstacles to pursuing virus authors are :
Companies fear of retribution. While they work with local enforcement agencies to track down perpertrators ,when it comes to mass worms and viruses, they tend to keep a low profile.
ISPs may find complying with better network tracking and logging software too high a price to pay so they tend to block any attempts by Investigation departments to get information
Countries do not have uniform penalties for releasing viruses. U.K. authorities imposed a two-year jail sentence on a worm writer for infecting more than 27,000 PCs. But in the Netherlands in 2001, the author of the widespread Anna Kournikova worm was sentenced to 150 hours of community service. [ August 23, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
I agree, but under German law he's likely to be sentenced under juvenile law which means he can be sent to prison only until his 18th birthday (as can be the extend of any other penalty). As that day has already passed any penalty imposed will be purely theoretical and he will walk out of court with a clean sheet and the knowledge he beat the system (which seems obviously what he had planned on all along given the timing of his crimes).