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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


As somebody whose inbox was besieged by MSBlast worms (all ‘quarantined’ fortunately), I would just love a quiet word with this gentleman:

Authorities in America have charged an 18-year-old youth with spreading the crippling MSBlast internet virus.

Jeffrey Lee Parson of Hopkins, Minnesota, is accused of “intentionally causing and attempting to cause damage to a protected computer”.

If found guilty, Mr Parson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Only ten years?

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10 comments to Mr.Popular

  • Withheld By Request

    Maybe community service would be better. Perhaps he should just make restitution by cleaning up every system that received a copy. Leaving aside the question of whether they have the right guy, there are a lot of people who should be hanging their heads in shame over the latest round of malware.

    Yes, the guy who did it deserves our undiluted ire. In the end, it was his choice to do this.

    Microsoft has written crap. Their patches can’t be trusted, so even the people who are aware of them test them on a sacrificial system for a while to see if the cure is worse than the disease. Microsoft’s bleating that they have a patch out for something doesn’t wash until it has been out for months.

    Second, there are a lot of people out there not using firewalls. Okay, that’s an extra expense, but these days, firewalls come built into $40 hubs for the home market. And a lot aren’t running anti-virus software with current databases. Get with the program people. The choices are, run an OS with some security like Linux. BSD or MacOS, or get AV software.

    There are still ISPs with open mail relays. Let’s not give the malware crowd more opportunities to distribute anonymously folks.

    When we’re done with the guy who did it, let’s have everyone face up to the actions that turned a disgruntled teenager’s vandalism into a major worldwide disaster.

  • BigFire

    This guy is a wannabe kiddie scripter. The MSBlaster varient he ripped off does not attack mail system, but exploits Microsoft’s badly written RPC protocols. This does not require e-mail.

    The e-mail virus SoBig varient F is something else entirely. This is the sixth version of the virus, probably all written by the same individual. The latest varient uses a two stage infection whereby on a certain day, it will attempt to load the second half of the virus from 20 compromised systems on the net. The anti-virus people were able to decrypt those machine’s address and prevent whatever scheme the virus has. One thing about all version of SoBig is its self termination . The writer probably doesn’t want different version of the virus running wild, and trampling over his ‘work’.

  • Guy Herbert

    I agree that vandals like this one should be dealt with harshly, but most of the world’s “computer misuse” laws are moral panic measures that provide for severe penalties regardless of intent or actual damage.

  • Charles Copeland

    Unintentionally, this vandal may have done us all a long-term favour. By incentivising the IT community to improving virus-proofing, minor disasters like these may reduce the probability of even greater disasters in the future — organised, say, by politically motivated, anti-Western cyberterrorists.

    Which is not quite to say that Mr Popular will prevent the collapse of Western Civ.

  • S. Weasel

    I would just love a quiet word with this gentleman

    Ah. I’d pay good money to see that. The radio says he’s 6’4″ and getting on for 27 stone.

  • Andy

    He’s a typical, fat, living-in-his-parent’s basement punk. Beating up a fat kid would hardly be worth paying for, unless, of course you simply want to see this %#^@#!@^% get what he deserves.

  • Its not even his worm, he just changed it a bit. I mean the guy is a total loser…no doubt he got busted by bragging about in some chat room.

  • Mr. Carr, whilst I’ve as much sympathy as you for this young gentleman, he’s most certainly not responsible for clogging up your inbox with rubbish because the ‘MSBlast’ program is a worm and it does not propagate using e-mail systems. It spreads somewhat ‘silently’, as far as users are concerned, using a backhole in one of the services available on Windows NT-based systems.

  • Bill

    10 years.

    In Gitmo.


  • Thanks purely to the intervention of the knowledgeable Stephen Hodgson, and my own sense of morality and honour, I hereby withdraw my challenge to Mr.Parson (er..all 6′ 4″ and 320lbs of him).

    Mr.Parson can consider himself very lucky. He’d best just watch his step from now on!