Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Who Is Sven Jaschan?

Sven Jaschan is the German teenager who unleashed the Sasser worm on the internet. According to John Tierney, Jaschan's little escapade "crippled computers around the world, closing businesses, halting trains and grounding airplanes."

Sven is probably a typical pimply-faced teenaged geek, a social cripple with few friends and totally unskilled in anything resembling athletics or any other activity involving human beings. I can imagine him barricaded in his dirty, disorganized room, playing advanced computer games and using his only skill to design or pass on viruses and worms to torment unsuspecting internet users. His parents, of course, are nowhere to be seen, unwilling or unable to direct his interests and energy onto productive paths.

What got Tierney worked up was the sentence a German judge inflicted on Jaschan--a 21-month suspended sentence with 30 hours of community service. No restrictions were placed on his future use of computers or access to the internet.

Tierney speculated, mostly tongue-in-cheek, on more appropriate sentences, up to and including the death penalty. He recognizes, however, that some countries don't have the death penalty, and in the U.S. we're not allowed to execute minors. His other possible punishments included forcing Jaschan to work long hours in a chat room helping computer users fight worms and viruses, using an old computer connected to a 2400 baud dial-up connection.

Whatever the punishment, it can't be severe enough as far as I'm concerned. (OK, I don't advocate the death penalty, but it's tempting.) Having suffered a virus a couple of years ago that wiped out all the files on my laptop, I'm not inclined to leniency where punks like Jaschan are concerned. During the hours I labored trying to recover my files, I would have willingly served on a firing squad for the scumbag who created the virus.

Viruses, worms, and the like are almost always generated, refined, and spread by teenagers and young men in their early 20s with teenaged minds. As with so many problems our society suffers today, it comes back to parents. Where the hell are they when these twisted kids are growing up and becoming a threat to the rest of us?


Blogger Amal said...

Having a drink on the deck in the backyard pretending life is perfect while junior/juniorette are reaking holy hell on everyone.

I am so with you on the firing squad! Point me in the right direction and sign me up!

6:06 PM, July 12, 2005  
Blogger carla said...

"Sven Jaschan?"

Gesundheidt, Tom!


7:20 PM, July 12, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Ha, Carla! Easy for you to laugh! I bet you haven't been wiped out by a virus yet! When it happens, you'll join me and Amal on the firing squad, I'm sure.

11:54 PM, July 12, 2005  
Blogger Kevin said...

They ought to make him work recovering all the stuff his creation wiped out. I had the sasser several times, it wasn't that bad, but it was an annoyance.

I estimate that Sven owes me about 24 hours. Maybe we can collect from the German government, seems to be the trend now days.

12:00 AM, July 13, 2005  
Anonymous Fred Schoeneman said...

I haven't been hit by any viruses. Some things you can do to protect yourself in the future that are free and foolproof:

1) backup your important documents, all of them, using email. Gmail offers 2 gigabytes, and yahoo offers a free "briefcase" that you can use for things and then make publicly accessible (a nice tool, i always wondered why more people didn't use it)

2) Trend Micro (www.trendmicro.com) has a group of free tools you can use to check your system, including a free virus checker and a free spyware detector.

I hope it doesn't happen again to you.


2:09 PM, July 13, 2005  
Blogger carla said...

Actually Tom you'd be wrong when you say I've never been wiped out by a virus.

During the school year, my work schedule is very complex and busy. My calendar is my life. I track my events and write up my paperwork all based on what's written down on my calendar.

I used to use a Palm Pilot as my calendar/scheduler. Two years ago when I was synching it up, my Palm contracted a virus that was in my computer, completely wiping out my entire Spring schedule, February-June.

Needless to say, all of my scheduling and calendar is all done with paper and pencil now.

2:22 PM, July 13, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Then you have my sympathies, Carla! Want to join us on the firing squad?

12:36 AM, July 14, 2005  
Blogger Anastasia said...

I'll join any firing squad..
I saved stuff on disks, which was fine, but a few weeks ago I was hit by some virus and it was a hassle to reformat everything because I had to reinstall other programs afterward.

I don't know what kind of a kick people get out of doing this. Sometimes I suspect they get their perverse voyeuristic thrills thinking about looking at people's computer files (lol)..

5:40 AM, July 14, 2005  

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