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Stop Coddling Hackers

The German teen who created the one-two punch of the destructive Netsky virus and Sasser worm was convicted of computer sabotage last week. His punishment? A suspended sentence.

I wouldn't be surprised if the judge told him that he couldn't have cookies and milk before he went to bed, either.

There's clearly something wrong when one of the most destructive acts of computer vandalism in recent memory draws in essence no punishment at all. I'm not saying the kid should be strung up. But he caused millions of dollars of damage to computers and networks across the world, and there should be some consequences for his actions.

I'm not alone in thinking so. Some 80 percent of people surveyed by security company Sophos think he was let off too easy as well.

We don't have any control over German courts, of course. But the next time there's a similar conviction in the U.S., here's hoping the hacker will actually get a punishment, not a slap on the wrist.