Fewer than a fifth of the 550 respondents thought that the 21-month suspended sentence given to 19 year-old Sven Jaschan was appropriate, compared to 78 per cent who thought the he got off lightly. Interestingly, one in 20 considered the sentence too harsh.
"With almost 80 per cent of those surveyed saying Jaschan's sentence was too lenient, it seems that many computer users are not convinced that justice has been served," said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos.
"Perhaps even more interesting about the Jaschan sentencing is Microsoft splashing out $250,000 to the two unidentified people who helped track Jaschan down, especially when speculation hints that these people are teenagers who may have had some involvement with Jaschan."
Jaschan was arrested after a tip-off to the authorities. It is not known how much of the reward money has paid.
Nancy Anderson, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, stated: "It has been important and gratifying to collaborate with and support law enforcement in this case, and we are glad to provide a monetary reward to those individuals who provided credible information that helped the German police authorities solve this case."
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