Worm Creator Wanted: Dead Or Alive

| 14 Feb 2009 13:04

Fancy yourself as the next Boba Fett? Well here's a chance to cut your teeth, as Microsoft offer a cool quarter of a mil for the creator of the Conficker virus.

The software giant is offering the $250,000 reward in exchange for information on the creators of the Conficker virus, which it views as a criminal attack. Speaking to BBC News, George Stathakopulos, of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group said: "People who write this malware have to be held accountable... Our message is very clear - whoever wrote this caused significant pain to our customers and we are sending a message that we will do everything we can to help with your arrest."

The virus, also known as Downadup or Kido, infects computers by guessing usernames and passwords and once inside, sets up defenses making it very hard to remove. The virus could allow its creator to take control of infected machines, either to steal data or to turn the machines into 'botnets', which malicious hackers could use as launching pads for spam mail or attacks on other computers, or dead-drops for pirated material.

Conficker is currently dormant, and security experts are unsure of the ultimate goals of its creators, but it has already caused a lot of work for network administrators dealing with users locked out of their accounts.

Microsoft recommend installing the KB958644 security update, if you haven't already, to protect yourself from the worm's effects.

PS: The 'Dead' part of 'Dead or Alive' isn't actually true.

Image courtesy of the Official Star Wars Blog

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