Microsoft Offers $250K to Catch Worm Creators

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2009 6:40 PM CST
Microsoft Offers $250K to Catch Worm Creators
A visual representation of of the "netsky" e-mail worm file.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Microsoft has offered a $250,000 bounty for the creators of the dreaded Conficker worm, which has infected 10 million computers worldwide, PC Magazine reports. The software giant is working with security firms and domain name administrator ICANN to find the culprits, whose virus exploits a vulnerability in Windows. Microsoft helped catch a worm author in 2005 with a reward of the same size.

“The best way to defeat potential botnets like Conficker/Downadup is by the security and domain name system communities working together,” an ICANN exec said. “ICANN represents a community that's all about coordinating those kinds of efforts to keep the Internet globally secure and stable.” If the perpetrators live in a part of the world soft on cybercrime, the bounty might be more effective than any possible prosecution. (Read more Microsoft stories.)

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