Trial for German Sasser writer begins next Tuesday

The creator of the Sasser worm will face trial next Tuesday in a German court.

Plenty of eyeballs will be scouring the Net next Tuesday to learn more about the fate of Sven Jaschan.

On July 5, the 19-year-old student will have his first day in court in the city of Verden, Germany, where he will face trial on charges of computer sabotage, data manipulation and disruption of public systems.

Jaschan was indicted in September for allegedly creating the Sasser worm, which crashed hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide after spreading at lightning speed over the Internet.

Sasser didn't require users to receive an e-mail message or open a file to be infected. Instead, just having a vulnerable Windows machine connected to the Internet was enough to get infected.

Sasser exploited a hole in a component of Windows called the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service, or LSASS. On April 13, Microsoft had released a software patch, MS04-011, which plugs the LSASS hole, but many companies and individuals had not installed it in time to prevent the Sasser worm from affecting their systems.

Jaschan, from Waffensen, Germany, was arrested in May of last year after Microsoft received a tip from an informant seeking a reward from the software company. Authorities said Jaschan had confessed to creating and releasing both the Sasser worm and several variants of the Netsky virus.

In Germany, computer sabotage carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

German prosecutors have chosen as plaintiffs three German city governments and a broadcaster whose systems were disrupted by the Sasser worm.

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