[ISN] Teen hacker behind 'Blaster' worm won't have to pay $500, 000 penalty

From: InfoSec News (isn@private)
Date: Wed Mar 30 2005 - 22:38:48 PST


Associated Press 
March 31, 2005 

SEATTLE -- First, it was a federal judge who took pity on Jeffrey Lee 
Parson. Now, it's Microsoft Corp. 

The 19-year-old from Hopkins won't have to pay the $500,000 in 
restitution he owes the company for releasing a version of the Blaster 
Internet worm that attacked Microsoft's Web site in the summer of 

Instead, the company said in court documents filed late Tuesday, he 
can work it off: 225 hours of community service that won't involve 
computers. U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman still must sign the 

Pechman sentenced Parson in January to a year and a half in prison -- 
half the time prosecutors had asked for -- followed by 100 hours of 
community service and three years of supervised release. The judge 
blamed his parents for not taking more of an interest in his life. 

The parties earlier stipulated that the restitution owed was $500,000. 

Parson apologized to the court and to Microsoft at his sentencing. 

Versions of the Blaster worm, also known as the LovSan virus, crippled 
computer networks worldwide. Parson pleaded guilty last summer to one 
count of intentionally causing or attempting to cause damage to a 
protected computer for modifying the Blaster worm and using it to 
launch a distributed denial-of-service attack against a Microsoft 
Windows update Web site as well as personal computers. 

Parson's version crippled an estimated 48,000 computers. 

Parson is to work off his debt to Microsoft during his three years of 
supervised release -- 75 hours per year. The service is not to involve 
computers or the Internet, and is to benefit less fortunate members of 
his community, the agreement said. 

"We're pleased this prosecution has been fully resolved with a prison 
sentence and appropriate restitution," said Tim Cranton, senior 
attorney with the Internet Safety Enforcement group at Microsoft. "Mr. 
Parson's additional community service will have a stronger impact on 
him in serving his sentence." 

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