News and Press Releases

JUVENILE SENTENCED FOR RELEASING
WORM THAT ATTACKED MICROSOFT WEB SITE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2005

A second person, a juvenile, has been sentenced in connection with the release of a computer worm in August 2003 that attacked the same vulnerability in computer software as the Blaster worm did. The worm -- often referred to as the RPCSDBOT worm -- directed infected computers to log in on a computer (i.e., an Internet Relay Chat channel) that the juvenile controlled. On August 14, 2003, the juvenile directed the infected computers to launch a distributed denial of service attack against Microsoft's main web site causing the site to shutdown and thus became inaccessible to the public for approximately four hours. The juvenile was 14 years old when the activity occurred.

The juvenile pleaded guilty in November 2004, to an act of juvenile delinquency, under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act, Title 18, United States Code, Section 5032, because the juvenile intentionally caused damage and attempted to cause damage to protected computers, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1030(a)(5)(A)(i), 1030(a)(5)(B)(i), 1030(b), and 1030(c)(4)(A), and Section 2.

Today, Chief Judge Robert S. Lasnik sentenced the juvenile to three years of probation with a number of restrictions including mental health counseling, and computer monitoring. The Judge also ordered that the juvenile perform three hundred hours of community service that involves work with the homeless or other less fortunate members of the community. The juvenile told Judge Lasnik, "Seventeen months ago, I made the worst mistake I ever made in my life. I did it out of curiosity and did not think I would cause any damage. I am sorry I created problems for people I did not even know."

In sentencing the juvenile, Judge Lasnik said: "I hear what you have said. You know what you did was wrong, and you aren't going to do it again." The Judge also said he wanted to remain involved in the juvenile's rehabilitation and thus required the juvenile to write him a letter every six months describing the juvenile's activities and community service, and how this experience is shaping the juvenile's life.

Judge Lasnik handed down the sentence today in a courtroom that was closed to the public as required under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act.
Pursuant to federal statute, Title 18, United States Code, Section 5038, neither the identity of the juvenile nor certain details of the investigation can be disclosed to the public. Still, this prosecution and that of JEFFREY PARSON, sentenced to 18 months in prison two weeks ago, send a strong message: "Computer hackers need to understand that they will be pursued and held accountable for malicious activity, whether they be adults or juveniles," stated John McKay, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington. "More importantly, parents must educate young people about the risks and responsibilities inherent in using the Internet. Kids need just as much guidance and supervision as when they first get behind the wheel of a car."

Even after two convictions in the investigation of the Blaster worm, it remains an on-going investigation. According to Mr. McKay, "Law enforcement is continuing its investigation into any additional persons who were involved in that activity. We encourage anyone with information concerning this matter to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and/or the United States Secret Service (USSS)."

This case was investigated by the Northwest Cyber Crime Task Force, which includes local law enforcement in the Western District of Washington, the Seattle Division of the FBI, and the Seattle Division of the USSS. Other divisions of the FBI and USSS also provided assistance in the investigation.

Assistant United States Attorneys Annette L. Hayes prosecuted the case.

Due to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, Title 18, United States Code, Sections 5031 et seq., no further comment or information can be provided to the public at this time.

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