Archive for February 17th, 2009

Microsoft Virus Bounty

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Last year the virus known as conficker, downadup or kido was released and infected millions of computers worldwide by exploiting a security hole in Windows.  Although the source of the Microsoft virus remains a mystery, a $250,000 reward has now been offered by Microsoft for anyone who can reveal the identity of its creator.

The bounty offered by Microsoft is an intersting development and makes good financial sense.  In the grand scheme of things, $250,000 is a drop in the ocean for Microsoft and will be only a fraction of the costs incurred from the spread of the virus.  However, the money is enough to act as a strong incentive for anyone with information to come forward.

This is not the first time that Microsoft have put a bounty on the head of malicious coder.  In 2005, the same amount was paid for the identification of the Sasser worm virus.  This kind of reward has worked in the past and may also work in this instance.  However, if the coder was shrewd enough to keep his identity a complete secret, he will be very difficult to catch.

More information regarding Microsoft’s Virus Bounty can be found on the BBC website.