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Authorities Too Light On German Hacker Who Wrote Sasser, Netsky Worms, Poll Says

Authorities punished the German teen who wrote the Sasser and Netsky worms far too lightly, says a survey of PC users, many of whom are fed up with Internet security hassles.

Sven Jaschan, 19, was found guilty of computer sabotage and illegally altering data last week by a German court, and given a suspended sentence of one year and nine months.

U.K.-based security firm Sophos said Monday its survey of 550 business PC users found that nearly 8 in 10 thought the punishment was too lenient, while just 5 percent believed it was too harsh.

"It seems that many computer users aren't convinced justice has been served," said Carole Theriault, a security consultant at Sophos, in a statement.

Security analysts, including some at Sophos, have intimated that they thought Jaschan got off lightly, in large part because some of his creations -- in particular the Netsky worm family -- are still in broad circulation. Most anti-virus vendors, for instance, have Netsky.p, the most pernicious of the bunch, in 2005's top five.

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