Juvenile arrested for creating Blaster variant

SAN FRANCISCO (09/26/2003) - Another person has been arrested in relation to the Blaster worm that infected computers worldwide last month. This time the individual is a juvenile, prosecutors in Seattle said Friday, which in the U.S. typically means under the age of 18.

The juvenile was arrested for "intentionally causing damage and attempting to cause damage to protected computers," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington said in a statement. The suspect's identity and details of the investigation were not released.

The suspect allegedly was involved with the release of the "RPCSDBOT" variant of the Blaster worm, according to the statement. The worm infected computers and attempted to shutdown a Microsoft Corp. Web site, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The case was investigated by the Washington Cyber Task Force, which includes local law enforcement in the Western District of Washington, the Seattle Division of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Seattle Field Division of the U.S. Secret Service, according to the statement.

Blaster first appeared on Aug. 11 and exploited a widespread vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system. [See "Feared RPC Worm starts to spread," Aug. 11] The RPCSDBOT variant appeared two days later, according to Oliver Friedrichs, a senior manager at Symantec Corp.'s Security Response center.

The variant, when it infected systems, not only attempted to attack a Microsoft Web site, it also installed a backdoor called SDBOT that gave the attacker full control over the victim's computer, according to Friedrichs.

This second arrest in the U.S. related to the Blaster worm comes four weeks after federal law enforcement officials arrested 18 year-old Jeffrey Lee Parson of Hopkins, Minnesota. Parson was charged with the release of the W32.Blaster-B variant of original Blaster worm. [See "Teenager arrested in Blaster worm case," Aug. 29.]

A man in Romania has also been arrested for violating that country's cybercrime laws. He allegedly released the Blaster-F worm variant and may face up to 10 years in prison. [See "Romanian man to be charged in Blaster release," Sept. 10.]

The Blaster worm and its variants take advantage of a known vulnerability in a Windows component called the DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) interface, which handles messages sent using the RPC (Remote Procedure Call) protocol. [See "Microsoft warns of widespread Windows vulnerability," July 16.]

Investigation into the worm is ongoing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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