Microsoft Puts Bounty on Worm-Maker’s Head

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Microsoft announced Thursday that it was putting a bounty on the head of whomever made the Conficker/Downadup worm. The worm has infected as many as 12 million Windows PCs since the Fall of 2008, and Microsoft is offering US$250,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the those responsible.

The announcement was made by George Stathakopoulos, general manager of the Trustworthy Computing Group at Microsoft, who said issued a convoluted statement to the effect that Microsoft was looking to bring more tools and resources to bear on the security problems that beset the Windows platform.

Big Redmond issued a security patch for this particular worm in 2008, but Conficker has been able to spread through the millions of Windows systems that are not regularly updated. When it infects a Windows system, it disables auto updates and other security features and phones home to a central server for more instructions.

Those instructions can include the gathering of personal information off of the PC or the installation of additional malware. In other words, once installed, Conficker's controllers effectively own the PC infected. You can read more about Conficker at Wikipedia.

Microsoft has also posted instructions for protecting your PC against the worm.

Microsoft last paid out reward money for a worm creator in 2005, according to the BBC. At that time, the company shelled out a quarter million dollars to two individuals for helping to identify the maker of the Sasser worm. Thursday's announcement of a new bounty for the Conficker worm is the first time since 2005 that Microsoft has offered such a bounty.

Comments

GEST

“You can read more about Conficker at Wikipedia.”

because I am too lazy/busy/uninspired to do any of my own data gathering for this story….
come on… add a little effort to these mini-articles…

Bryan Chaffin

GEST, I did my own research, but wanted to offer a link to people who wanted to read more.  The Wikipedia article offers a great jumping off point for those interested.

Bryan
Editor
TMO

Come on

Come on dude.  He covered just the right amount of information that was needed for the story and is directing ppl to Wikipedia for more info.  I don’t really care to read more about another worm so i didn’t bother clicking on the link.   

Keep up the good work guys…

Dobber

I know who is responsible.

Please make your arrest warrant out for William Gates. I think you will find he is ultimately responsible for this.

Tut

Just check this out!

Over 42 million infected machines…

http://projecthoneypot.org/statistics.php

Why has nobody started a class action lawsuit against the company responsible for this mess?

Jamie

What would happen if they spent some of that money making software that wasn’t so easy to break? How is it that Microsoft’s board and shareholders haven’t shaken them down at this point? How many more times does this sort of thing have to happen before people have had enough? I don’t have the time or the skills, but it would be interesting to calculate the approximate global cost in money and man hours that have been wasted supporting the implementation of Windows the past decade. I think someday when Microsoft is long gone we’ll be looking back with a giant shake of the forehead and a sigh.

dahlenu

Where can I send money *supporting* the worm author?

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