Microsoft Puts a Hit on Conficker Author, Offers $250,000 Reward
Article by George Norman
On 13 Feb 2009
The Conficker worm, a.k.a Confick or Downandup, seems to have generated some strong sentiments on Microsoft’s part because the Redmond software developer is offering a quarter of a million $USD to anyone that can provide information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for releasing it in the wild. Microsoft has also announced that it is collaborating with several organizations such as ICANN, VeriSign, and Public Internet Registry to combat the threat posed by the Conficker worm at a global scale.

“As part of Microsoft’s ongoing security efforts, we constantly look for ways to use a diverse set of tools and develop methodologies to protect our customers. By combining our expertise with that of the broader community we can expand the boundaries of defense to better protect people worldwide. Microsoft’s approach combines technology innovation and effective cross-sector partnerships to help protect people from cybercriminals. We hope these efforts help to contain the threat posed by Conficker, as well as hold those who illegally launch malware accountable,” General Manager of the Trustworthy Computing Group with Microsoft, George Stathakopoulos said.


Conficker’s problem is that it has to get its orders from someone, so each day the worm checks about 250 different domains for instructions on what to do next. Normally a security company could not monitor all possible domains, but a coalition of various companies and organizations would allow for a mass registration of all domains Conficker might use.

This is not the first time that Microsoft offers cash to people that make it look bad: Blaster and Sobig worms spurred a reward of $500,000 back in 2003 and Microsoft has even set aside a $5,000,000 fund to be used in capturing virus writers.

“Microsoft’s reward offer stems from the company’s recognition that the Conficker worm is a criminal attack. Microsoft wants to help the authorities catch the criminals responsible for it. Residents of any country are eligible for the reward, according to the laws of that country, because Internet viruses affect the Internet community worldwide. Individuals with information about the Conficker worm should contact their international law enforcement agencies,” says Microsoft.

Tags: Microsoft, Conficker, Downandup, Confick, Reward
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Microsoft Puts a Hit on Conficker Author, Offers $250,000 Reward
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