Blaster Author Sentenced to 18 Months

A Minnesota man received a sentence of 18 months in prison and 10 hours of community service for releasing a variant of the "Blaster" worm that infected nearly 50,000 computers in the summer of 2003.

Jeffrey Lee Parson was a 19 year-old high school senior using the computer alias "teekid" when he modified the worm. Parson originally pled not guilty, but changed his plea last summer in hopes of avoiding a longer sentence.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said the sentence reflected that although he was 18 at the time of the attack, his maturity level was much younger than that. She also said his home life contributed to the problem.

"Many of the mental-health problems from the household you grew up in contributed to this problem. (The Internet) has created a dark hole, a dungeon if you will, for people who have mental illnesses or people who are lonely. 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," Pechman said.

Parson will serve his sentence in a low-security prison.

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