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Teen arrested in Blaster worm case

An 18-year-old Minnesota resident was arrested and charged with releasing a variant of the MSBlaster worm, U.S. officials announced Friday. Jeffrey Lee Parson, who used the nickname "teekid," made his first court appearance in St. Paul on Friday and was under house arrest, according to federal authorities.

With this arrest we want to deliver a message to cyberhackers here and around the world," said U.S. Attorney John McKay at a news conference in Seattle. "They need to be convinced that the handcuffs are not cybercuffs. They are real."

McKay said investigators in Seattle and Minneapolis worked together to track down Parson, who was charged with intentionally damaging protected computers. If found guilty, Parson could face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Parson admitted releasing the worm when he was confronted with evidence by federal authorities on Aug. 19, FBI and Justice Department officials said. "He made certain admissions which are included in the complaint," McKay said. "He admitted conduct which we allege is unlawful."

The variant Parson allegedly released, called MSBlaster.B, is a slightly altered version of the original MSBlaster, which wreaked havoc on Internet users two weeks ago. Officials stressed that this was not the end of the Blaster investigation, and sources said Parson likely did not have anything to do with the original MSBlaster worm variant, which targeted security holes in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

U.S. authorities noted that Microsoft had assisted them in their investigation, but would not describe whether the software maker had itself been hit by the attacks.

News source: MSNBC - Teen arrested in Blaster worm case

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