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Starlyte

Worm suspect: ‘I’m not the one’

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Sept. 2 — Three weeks ago, a flurry of computer viruses caused headaches for millions of Internet users worldwide and touched off a massive hunt by law enforcement for the virus programmers — a hunt that led to Hopkins, Minn., and 18-year-old Jeffrey Lee Parson. In an exclusive interview with NBC Today Show producer Eric Ortner, Parson says the government has exaggerated his role in the computer chaos of the past month.

FOR HIS FIRST INTERVIEW since his arrest on Friday, Jeffrey Lee Parson agreed to talk with the “Today” show off-camera. Parson insisted that his responses be reproduced in full.

The government does not assert that Parson wrote the original MSBlaster worm, which infected over 1 million computers. The federal complaint says that Parson was the author of MSBlaster.B, a slightly-altered variant of the original Blaster, which infected about 7,000 computers.

Still, at a news conference last week announcing Parson’s arrest, U.S. Attorney John McKay said Parson was a “key figure” in the computer worm incident.

In his interview with Ortner, Parson expresses surprise at the scrutiny he’s receiving, and said he just wants to return to his normal high school life.

‘TODAY’: There’s a perception in the media that you unleashed a virus as a malicious attack. Is this true?

Parson: “No, the malicious attack was brought forth from the original virus.”

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