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Dear Microsoft - I beg your pardon!

And have done exactly that - Microsoft has granted clemency to the 19 year-old author of the Blaster worm. Rather than pay $500,000 in restitution, the youth will be sentenced to 225 hours of community service, which may not involve computers. U.S. District Judge said the sentence reflected that although he was 18 at the time of the attack, his maturity level was much younger than that. She also said his home life contributed to the problem.

The Blaster, or MSBlast, worm was the culprit behind massive denial of service attacks against Microsoft's Web properties and infected over 50,000 unpatched systems in the summer of 2003. [Via]

Parson is to work off his debt to Microsoft during his three years of supervised release -- 75 hours per year. The service is not to involve computers or the Internet, and is to benefit less fortunate members of his community, the agreement said.