Microsoft puts $250,000 bounty on Conficker worm

Microsoft is offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the Conficker worm's author.

Microsoft is trying to put some pressure on the criminals responsible for the worst Internet worm outbreak in years, offering a US$250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Conficker's creators.

The software vendor said it was also working with security researchers, domain name registrars and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to try to take down the servers that have been launching the Conficker attacks. ICANN is the nonprofit corporation that oversees Internet addresses.

"The best way to defeat potential botnets like Conficker/Downadup is by the security and domain name system communities working together," said Greg Rattray, ICANN chief Internet security adviser, in a statement released Thursday. "ICANN represents a community that's all about coordinating those kinds of efforts to keep the Internet globally secure and stable."

Conficker, also known as the Downadup worm, takes advantage of a critical bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system, which was patched last October. Since late December the worm has emerged as one of the worst computer threats in years, infecting more than 10 million computer systems worldwide, including PCs within the British and French militaries.

If Conficker's author lives in a part of the world that's known to be soft on cybercrime -- Russia, the Ukraine or Romania, for example -- it may be hard to get a conviction, said the editor of the Hostexploit.com cybercrime research site, who goes by the pseudonym Jart Armin.

On the other hand, the US$250,000 reward may be an incentive to hackers who may know who's responsible. Typically, hackers get paid about $10,000 by organized crime groups for writing an attack that reliably works on a significant number of computers, Armin said.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has offered such a bounty. In 2005, it paid $250,000 to two people for identifying Sven Jaschan, the teenager who wrote the Sasser worm.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags worm

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?