View Full Version : Microsoft Offers $250,000 Bounty For Worm Authors

02-14-2009, 01:33 PM
"Microsoft puts out a $ Quarter Million contract on Cyber Worms authors !"

The company has formed a cybersecurity posse with technology companies, academic organizations, and Internet infrastructure firms to dismantle the Conficker/Downadup worm's infrastructure.

Beset by malicious worms after failing to convince enough server administrators to take its out-of-band Security Bulletin, MS08-067, seriously, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is taking computer security to the streets: It has formed a cybersecurity posse to dismantle the Conficker/Downadup worm's infrastructure and has offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the outbreak.

Microsoft warned last October that a vulnerability in its Server service could be exploited by a worm. Cybercriminals heard that warning and made the threat real, infecting as many as 9 million computers by mid-January. At that time, Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek estimated that between 25% and 30% of vulnerable systems remained unpatched.

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InformationWeek's John Foley speaks with Nicholas Stamos, the Corporate President and Co-Founder of Verdasys. Stamos talks about one of Verdasys' products, Digital Guardian.And the problem continues more or less unabated today. Symantec said in the past five days it has seen an average of almost 500,000 infections per day with W32.Downadup.A and more than 1.7 million infections per day with W32.Downadup.B.

Jose Nazario, manager of security research for Arbor Networks, in a blog post on Thursday, called Conficker/Downadup a "savage Windows worm."

The total number of machines infected at any given time varies as a consequence of disinfection efforts. But rest assured that the number represents a very large botnet.