Security

Teen gets 18 months in prison for worm

Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, must also participate in 10 months of community service for unleashing a variant of the MSBlast worm.
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By Dawn Kawamoto
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

A federal judge on Friday sentenced a 19-year-old Minnesota man to 18 months in prison for unleashing a variant of the MSBlast worm.

Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, of Minnesota was ordered to serve his time in a minimum security prison and participate in 10 months of community service.

FBI agents arrested Parson at his home in Hopkins, Minn., in August 2003, just two weeks after his "MSBlast.B" variant began to tunnel into Microsoft Windows-based computers. His variant of the worm infected approximately 48,000 computers that had not yet applied an earlier released patch.

Parson pleaded guilty last summer in a Seattle U.S. District Court to damaging federal government computers with MSBlast.B. At the time of his plea, he faced a possible prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

The author of the original version of the MSBlast worm has yet to be caught.

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