CYBERSPACE, 2005 (D.O.T.) - A federal judge sentenced a teenager to a year and half of prison for releasing a variant of the Blaster worm that was used to attack nearly 50,000 computers. Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle, where he was also ordered to perform community service, pay restitution and be placed under supervision for three years following the sentence.

"If you use the Internet to harm people, it will be investigated and you will be punished," Jeff Sullivan, chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's office in Seattle, told CyberSpacers . Parson was brought in from his home in Hopkins, Minnesota. Facing U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, the teen pleaded guilty to creating a variant of the worm, which infected computers and targeted computers at Microsoft Corp.

Parson said he created his "B" or "T-kids" variant of the Blaster worm and used it to access fifty computers which he then used to launch a broader attack. Attorneys from Microsoft said that damages caused by the teen could easily amount to more than a million dollars.

Blaster and its variants are self-replicating Internet worms that bore through a security hole in Windows, Microsoft's operating system which is found on more than 90 percent of the world's personal computers.

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