Internet Worm Creator Sentenced to 18 Months

A 19-year-old Minnesota resident was sentenced in a US District Court today to 18 months in prison and an additional 10 months of community service for releasing a variant of the Blaster worm in 2003. Jeffrey Lee Parson had originally pleaded innocent to the charges, but last summer had a change of heart and pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally causing or attempting to cause damage to a protected computer.

He could have gotten 10 years behind bars, but the judge took pity on him, saying his neglectful parents were to blame for the psychological troubles that led to his actions… The Internet ‘has created a dark hole, a dungeon if you will, for people who have mental illnesses or people who are lonely,’ US District Judge Marsha Pechman said. ‘I didn’t see any parent standing there saying, “It’s not a healthy thing to lock yourself in a room and create your own reality.”’

This and other convictions have done little to diminish the creation and spread of new worms and viruses.

Source: Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica