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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Virus help fund gets closed down
Screengrab of Sasser Support Fund site
The message on the site says it all
Supporters of the man who wrote the Sasser web worm have been forced to stop raising funds for him.

The effort ended when the organisers of the fund raisers found it difficult to contact Sasser author Sven Jaschan to hand over the cash.

Mr Jaschan was arrested in early May by German police following a tip-off.

The fund-raising potential was further crippled when the operators of the web-based system used to collect donations closed the Sasser Support Fund account.

Cash crunch

Since its debut on 1 May the Sasser web worm has spread far and wide online and caused any PC falling victim to it to repeatedly crash.

The worm appeared soon after Microsoft released a patch for the loophole that the malicious program crawled through.

On 7 May Mr Jaschan was arrested at his home near the town of Rotenburg in northern Germany and soon after admitted that he had created the worm.

The Sasser Support Fund was set up independently to funnel cash to Mr Jaschan to let him have a good time before he finds out his fate.

The fund's organisers said Mr Jaschan was performing a social duty by exposing the holes in Microsoft software.

In e-mails to BBC News Online they said Mr Jaschan could use the cash to buy cigarettes or whisky.

In the opening days of the fund being set up it managed to raise almost $100 for Mr Jaschan.

But the fund has now been closed down.

A curt message on the support fund website said donations were no longer being accepted because Mr Jaschan could not be contacted "in a timely manner".

The message hints that the Paypal account used to collect the cash was apparently shut down by the payment firm. Fees for other payment systems were judged too high.

The fund said that it will return donations to those that made them "to the extent that Paypal permits usage of the locked account".

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