Virus writers shouldn't get off so easy

Thursday, 19 August 2004, 11:55 AM EST

Computer worms and viruses cost us millions in lost productivity and are among the biggest headaches for IT departments. So, says Declan McCullagh, the individuals who create these menaces should at least get the same types of punishments as car thieves and environmental polluters.

Jeffrey Lee Parson pleaded guilty last week to unleashing part of the MSBlast worm attack that wreaked havoc on the internet a year ago. He got off easy.

Federal prosecutors predictably touted Parson's guilty plea as an example for other would-be vandals. John McKay, the US attorney for Seattle, proclaimed: "The damage to individual computer users is very real, and the penalties are also very real."

By Declan McCullagh at Silicon.

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