Microsoft Drops 'Blaster' Author's Fine

Microsoft has granted clemency to the 19 year-old author of the Blaster worm. Rather than pay $500,000 in restitution, the youth will be sentenced to 225 hours of community service, which may not involve computers.

The Blaster, or MSBlast, worm was the culprit behind massive denial of service attacks against Microsoft's Web properties and infected over 50,000 unpatched Windows systems in the summer of 2003.

As a consequence, Microsoft instituted a wild west-style bounty called the Anti-Virus Reward Program, which asked for information leading to the arrest and conviction of cyber criminals.

Jeffrey Lee Parson, of Minnesota, was sentenced this year to 18 months in prison and 10 hours of community service. The defense argued that Parson suffered from mental-health problems.

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.

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