Microsoft offers $250,000 for the head of Conficker’s author

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Microsoft has announced that it is offering a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the capture and conviction of the authors of the Conficker worm (also known as Downadup or Confick).

This development shouldn’t surprise anyone. Microsoft’s reputation is badly shaken whenever a computer virus causes widespread problems for its users. It’s not been unusual in the past for prevalent malware to exploit weaknesses in the software giant’s software (as was the case with Conficker), or pretended to be messages from Microsoft technical support.

Offering substantial rewards can do no harm. If a culprit isn’t found then Microsoft hasn’t lost anything, and it may just entice some members of the computer underground to come forward with information. People considering releasing malware in the future should take careful note of this and think again.

Of course, this is not the first time that…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.