The creator of the Blaster B worm has received a minimum sentence for releasing software that infected 48,000 PCs and launched a denial of service attack against Microsoft.
Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, pleaded guilty to releasing the Blaster worm last year and has been sent to prison for 18 months.
Judge Marsha Pechman said that Parson had committed the act due to neglectful parenting and mental health problems and declined to give the teenager the maximum penalty of 37 months.
Parson will also be monitored for three years on his release, and must perform 100 hours community service, although this can be written off against work for academic qualifications.
"An 18-month prison sentence is probably the best that Parson could have realistically hoped for," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"The sentence sends out a strong message to other young people that writing viruses is a fool's game. Parson and his parents will be regretting the day he decided to get involved in virus writing."
The court heard that in mid-2004 Parson infected 50 computers with a variant of the Blaster worm and used those computers to launch secondary infections.
Infected PCs had a Trojan installed and were then used to launch a denial of service attack against Microsoft's patch update website. Microsoft claimed that it spent $1m repelling the attack.
But Parson was arrested by the FBI within a month of releasing the code because the Trojan not only contained his online handle, 'Teekid', but communicated via a link to his website.
At the time of Parson's arrest Cluley said that the antivirus community was "hitting its head against the wall at how stupid this guy was".
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