An open letter to Sven Jaschan

I’d like to say the following to Sven Jaschan:

The attack you released to the Internet disrupted the lives of computer users and administrators all over the world. I know that people have told you all about the large businesses that were disrupted and the amount of money in damage you caused. I can speak first hand to that, helping customers during the outbreak. But here’s how Sasser affected me in my personal life.

In addition to the fact I was working non-stop and practically sleeping in the office trying to protect customers from the attack, Sasser occurred in a time when my mother and step-father were going through a painful divorce. It took time away from my ability to be there for both of them. My wife’s birthday was May 6th and I spent it working instead of the dinner and the night out we had planned. Finally, Sasser caused me to miss what would turn out to be the last few weeks that my first golden retriever, Hennessy, would be alive before we found out she had terminal cancer and had to put her down. Between dealing with Sasser and my wife’s work schedule it was difficult for us to get her to see the specialist she needed to see. And the third week in May we finally were able to do it, only to find out the cancer had already spread too far long before Sasser even happened. I hate the fact that the last few weeks she was alive I was busy dealing with what you had unleashed instead of doing the things she loved to do like going to the park in the time she had left.

I don’t say any of this to tell you I’m angry at you. I’m not angry at you Sven, because people make choices all the time, and sometimes those choices have unintended consequences. But I don’t think it’s wrong to put a human face on those unintended consequences.

I believe you had no idea any of this would happen. And what was going on in my life would have happened anyway, I just would have been able to be there for it.

But other members of my team were impacted, including one who nearly missed the birth of his daughter. Millions of people had things going on in their lives that had to be put on hold while they dealt with Sasser.

So I have some advice, I do think I’m entitled to that much, as is anyone impacted.

You’ve been given a second chance. I hope very sincerely that you use it to serve as a cautionary example, and speak out against the creation of these types of attacks. I know you just want to put all this behind you. But you have the opportunity to do a tremendous amount of good. Please use it, don’t squander it. You’ve taken the first step by confessing and being honest about what you did. I respect that. Please don’t waste the opportunity you have potentially been given to help some kid right now avoid your mistake and think twice before taking what seems to be a simple action, but that can impact so many people.

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