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Teen Arrested for Allegedly Unleashing Computer Virus

By Digital Journal Staff     Aug 30, 2003 in Technology
WASHINGTON (voa) - U.S. authorities have arrested an American youth who they say was responsible for one version of the crippling Blaster computer virus.
Eighteen-year-old Jeffrey Lee Parson of Minneapolis, in the midwestern U.S. state of Minnesota, appeared Friday before a federal judge, who placed him under house arrest and ordered him to stay off the Internet.
Court officials say the youth is being charged with intentionally causing and attempting to cause damage to a computer. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
The suspect has admitted to being the author of Blaster-B, a more destructive version of the original Blaster virus, also known as LovSan.
The Blaster virus spread rapidly across the Internet earlier this month via a flaw in Microsoft software, causing havoc on personal and business computer systems. Experts say the virus and its variants affected a total of more than $500,000 computers nationwide.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation says in court documents that Mr. Parson's variant alone infected at least seven-thousand computers.
Mr. Parson's variant created a so-called "backdoor" in infected computers which allowed him to reconnect to those computers later. Investigators tracked down the suspect, known online as "teekid," from a list of infected computers on his website.
At a court hearing in St Paul, Minnesota, US Magistrate Judge Susan Richard Nelson told Parson not to access the internet or any other network connection as a condition of his release under electronic monitoring.
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