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German Security Firm Hires Hacker Awaiting Trial

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Jack Writes: A German security firm has hired the teen accused of writing the Sasser and Netsky worms, a move that sends a dangerous message to hackers, anti-virus firms said Monday.

Firewall provider Securepoint, which is based in a city in northern Germany not far from the hometown of admitted hacker Sven Jaschan, hired the 18-year-old to work on its products because "he has a certain know-how in this field," a company spokesman said in a statement.

The rehabilitation didn't go down well with Sophos, the U.K.-based anti-virus vendor.

"It's very important that the security community does not send out a message that writing viruses or worms is cool, or a route into employment," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, in a statement.

Although Finnish security company F-Secure was kinder in its take on Jaschan -- "he wasn't that bad," one of the company executives wrote on the firm's blog -- it, too said the hire was out of line. "We here at F-Secure wouldn't hire him."

There's a good chance Jaschan won't work long for Securepoint. The teen will be tried on charges including computer sabotage that could land him in jail for up to five years.

Coincidentally, a new variation of the Sasser worm, dubbed Sasser.g by Sophos, appeared Monday. Like earlier editions, it exploits Windows PCs not patched against the LSASS vulnerability, and opens them to further attack by planting a backdoor component on compromised machines


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