Jeffrey Lee Parson, an 18-year-old suspected of unleashing a calamitous computer worm, was arrested on August 29, 2003. Parson is also banned from the Internet and other networks by U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Richard Nelson as a condition of his release. He is also only allowed to leave his house for school and doctor visits. .
Different versions of the "Blaster" or "LovSan" worm have infected more than 500,000 computers; it is considered to be one of the most destructive epidemics this year. These variations of Blaster have caused an estimated $5 million to $10 million damage; that approximation is for Microsoft alone. Parson admitted to the FBI and the Secret Service that he adapted the original worm; his version has infected at least 7,000 computers. Parson's version of the worm includes a method for later reconnecting to the infected computers. This worm also gave Parson a gateway to personal communications and funds. .
Parson is the first arrest in connection with worm's unleashing; his hearing will be held on September 17 in Seattle, Washington. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for his one count of intentional damage to a computer. The case will ultimately face a grand jury to determine any additional charges. Parson has not yet entered a plea of "guilty" or "not guilty". No additional comments were made as to whether or not those in connection with the worm will be arrested. However, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota said, "This kind of prosecution should be a warning shot across the bow of hackers. We"re serious about it, and we"re coming after you." .