Microsoft Corp. promised Thursday to pay a $250,000 reward to anyone who helps authorities capture and prosecute the author of a fast-spreading computer virus. The reward is the third offered so far under a $5 million program Microsoft began in November to help U.S. authorities nab the authors of unusually damaging Internet infections aimed at consumers of the company's software products. The "MyDoom.B" virus would cause victims to launch an electronic attack next month against Microsoft's own Web site. "This worm is a criminal attack," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president and general counsel. "Microsoft wants to help the authorities catch this criminal."
Microsoft urged anyone with information about the author of the "MyDoom.B" virus to contact the FBI, Secret Service or Interpol. Microsoft said residents of any country are eligible for the $250,000 reward. The company has said previously it will not pay rewards to anyone involved in creating the viruses. Government officials and others have described the $250,000 rewards as the highest in recent memory funded entirely by the private sector akin to cash bounties paid in the late 1800s by Western banks to vigilantes who hunted robbers. The previous two rewards of $250,000 each were offered for information about those responsible for the Blaster and Sobig viruses, which spread rapidly last summer among hundreds of thousands of computers running Windows.
News source: eWeek