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Worm boy wonder gives Germany hope - Worm boy wonder gives Germany hope
Tue, May 11 2004 | 12:59PM | PermaLink Feedback?
He faces a prison term - not to mention hefty compensation claims - yet the German teenager whose Sasser worm caused global disruption is being seen as something of a boy wonder at home. Disapproval still reigns supreme. But for a country increasingly dubbed the sick man of Europe, where growth is sluggish, unemployment doggedly high and technological skills in short supply, the arrests of both the Sasser creator and another young virus author at the weekend have stirred up a curious sense of pride. Two years on, Germany is still reeling from the shock of the international Pisa study which placed their school children in the bottom third of 32 industrialised countries in reading, mathematics and science. "When the Sasser worm infected millions of computers worldwide, the initial reaction of the authorities was that the programmer was probably sitting in the US or Russia," says Thomas Winkler of the Berlin daily Tageszeitung. "But what we have learnt from this episode is that German school students do not in fact live up to the reputation which the Pisa study bestowed upon them."
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