Microsoft offers $250,000 reward for info on Conficker

In an attempt to put pressure on the criminals responsible for the Conficker worm outbreak that has infected more than 9 million Windows PCs worldwide since late December, Microsoft today announced that it will offer $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally launching the Conficker aka Downadup worm.

Microsoft urges individuals with information on the worm to contact international law enforcement agencies and is working with several security researchers, domain name registrars and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that oversees Internet addresses, to try to take down the servers that have been launching the Conficker attacks.

The Anti-Virus Reward program was created by Microsoft in 2003 with $5 million funds, to help law enforcement agencies bring computer virus and worm authors to justice. In 2005, Microsoft has paid a $250,000 reward to 2 individuals who helped to identify the creator of Sasser worm.

Jart Armin, editor of Hostexploit, a cybercrime research site says that

"if Conficker's author lives in a part of the world that's known to be soft on cybercrime like Russia, the Ukraine or Romania it may be hard to get a conviction. On the other hand, the $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"

Earlier Microsoft issued a security patch in October 2008 to help customers guard against the Conficker attack, but the worm can spread to patched systems too through removable media. The most recent news of Conficker attack is about the French fighter planes which were unable to take off without the flight parameters after the millitary databases were infected by Conficker worm as the French Millitary failed to update the systems with the security patch issued in October.

Microsoft and various other anti-virus vendors continue to spread information about the security measures to be taken against the spread of Conficker worm. More information about Conficker worm and how to protect yourself from Conficker can be found at the Microsoft and f-secure sites.

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22 Comments

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Word has it that this virus infected the US classified (including top secret) network due to employees that loaded infected removable media on a system connected to it. The US Military/DoD have instituted new rules to prevent the loading of removable media on systems connected to the classified network to prevent a future occurence.

Microsoft is on the hook by DoD to get the people that created this. This may be the biggest virus outbreak on the classified network in US history.

Hm... I have an idea. We pay some poor people 10k, he pretends to be a creator of this, he goes to jail, his family is happy, you get 240k and enjoy your life.

What is the freaking point to put a rewards against the creator of a over 4 month old worm?.
Is it Microsoft late into fix the problem and late into put a reward?.

Magallanes said,
What is the freaking point to put a rewards against the creator of a over 4 month old worm?.
Is it Microsoft late into fix the problem and late into put a reward?.

Cause they want to know who employed him... and they fixed it before it happend... SIGH

Earlier Microsoft issued a security patch in October 2008 to help customers guard against the Conficker attack, but the worm can spread to patched systems too through removable media.

That sucks BIG TIME!!!

jafoman said,
Am I the only one who has never heard of this worm?

I would assume you have windows update turned on, possibly set to automatic updates.

Max� said,
Give them your own address and turn yourself in for a quick $250,000!


Almost not a bad idea. You know you won't be spending that much time in jail.