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Germany

Sasser Creator Charged with Computer Sabotage

A German teenager who authorities say confessed to creating the Sasser computer worm in May has been charged with computer sabotage. Sven Jaschan, 18, was arrested after telling officials he originally wanted to create a virus, "Netsky," to automatically remove two other viruses, Mydoom and Bagle, from infected computers. He had developed several versions of "Netsky" and, after modifying it, created "Sasser." "Sasser," which took advantage of a known flaw with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system, snarled tens of thousands of computers and caused Internet traffic to slow. Prosecutors said they have been contacted by 143 plaintiffs with total damage claims of €130,000 ($158,000) but because many businesses and individuals never report such damages, prosecutors believe the actual figure is in the millions. Jaschan was caught after informants seeking a reward tipped off Microsoft. He was arrested sitting at his computer at the house of his mother, who runs a computer store in the small northern town of Waffensen. Computer sabotage carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. No trial date has been set.