Microsoft has formed a partnership with technology industry leaders and academia to implement a coordinated, global response to the Conficker (or Downadup) worm – and is offering a $250 000.00 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for launching it.
The co-ordinated response, by Microsoft and security researchers, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and operators within the Domain Name System, aims to disable domains targeted by Conficker.
"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," says George Stathakopoulos, GM of the Trustworthy Computing Group at Microsoft. "By combining our expertise with that of the broader community we can expand the boundaries of defense to better protect people worldwide."
Along with Microsoft, organizations involved in this collaborative effort include ICANN, NeuStar, VeriSign, CNNIC, Afilias, Public Internet Registry, Global Domains International Inc., M1D Global, AOL, Symantec, F-Secure, ISC, researchers from Georgia Tech, the Shadowserver Foundation, Arbor Networks and Support Intelligence.
"The best way to defeat potential botnets like Conficker/Downadup is by the security and Domain Name System communities working together," says Greg Rattray, chief Internet security advisor at ICANN. "ICANN represents a community that's all about coordinating those kinds of efforts to keep the Internet globally secure and stable."
Microsoft's reward offer stems from the company's recognition that the Conficker worm is a criminal attack, and it 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.
Anyone with information about the Conficker worm should contact an international law enforcement agency.