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May 10, 2004

What is the appropriate punishment...?

They think they got the guy who wrote the Sasser worm. Some college student in Germany. We picture a disaffected "Gunter" type all dressed in black running his own variant of LINUX with a mad on for Bill Gates and Microsoft. But MS put a bounty on his head and his friends turned him in. This alone says volumes, but we'll focus on determining the right punishment for this creep. And while we're at it, we'll set up a proper and easy to calculate formula for figuring similar punishments in the future.

Let's do the math. It's expected that the worm affected "tens of millions of computers" around the world. Without a better estimate, we'll set that at 30 million. Figure each infected computer cost someone an hour. Many would have cost more, some less, let's do a light balance here. We're not evaluating the damages done in loss of  personal information and work due to crashes, just the clean-up, but we'll balance that later in the equation.

So 30 million hours is right around three and a half thousand years. We'll round that up to four thousand since we were lenient in the first two sets of numbers. So that's it. He should serve fifty life sentences in prison doing hard labor, stuff that would put calluses on his tender white hands, maybe eliminate the danger of future keyboarding. No time off for good behavior or potential for early release. That should do it.

Wait a minute... we forgot to mention the randomly firing electrodes on his testicles. How did that slip our minds? There, an easy to follow equation that can be used for any future virus or worm writer. It's so easy when you base it all on math.


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