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The worm continues to infect a large number of computers while security experts try and figure out what to do

Microsoft has created a new technology industry posse and a $250,000 reward for people who help turn over the creators of the Conficker worm.

The Conficker worm multiplied like wildfire, and spreads through a hole found in Microsoft Windows systems, though the vulnerability was patched in October.  It also is able to disable anti-malware protection and will block an infected PC from visiting anti-malware vendors Web sites to receive updates.

Security experts are even more worried about the possibility the worm calls home every 24 hours to at least 250 servers each day for instructions or directed actions.

The Houston police department was forced to stop arresting people with traffic warrants because the worm spread its way through the police and city court's computer systems.  Violent offenders were still arrested, but those with outstanding traffic warrants were simply issued citations instead of being arrested, Houston police officials said.

There also was a Conficker outbreak among French military computers, which led to several fighter planes being grounded until everything could be fixed.

Microsoft is working with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and PC security experts while trying to identify the worm's creators.  VeriSign, NeuStar, Public Internet Registry, Global Domains International, AOL, F-Secure, George Tech, and several other organizations have joined the fight to help capture who ever created the Internet worm.

"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," Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Group G.M. George Stathakopoulos said in a statement.  "By combining our expertise with the broader community we can expand the boundaries of defense to better protect people worldwide."

Security company Symantec reported that more than 2.2 million IP addresses over the past five days have been infected with two different forms of the worm, three months after it first hit the Internet.  To date, it's infected at least 10 million PCs since first being introduced into the wild.

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Raise the reward!
By Smokey48 on 2/13/2009 4:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft should make the reward at least $1 million. A hefty reward will make friends drop a dime on each other. A really hefty reward would even make brothers start figuring angles.

Microsoft earns $1 million in interest about every four hours on its cash hoard. I know I don't have any right to tell the company how to spend its dough, but you get what you pay for.

A $10 million reward would probably get instant results.

Maybe the $250K reward is just for P.R. purposes.

RE: Raise the reward!
By bldckstark on 2/13/2009 4:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
For 10 mil, I would learn how to write complex viruses, break into coders houses and upload them from there, then turn them in. Simple frame, big bucks.

I suppose they might catch on when I turn in the tenth or eleventh person though.

RE: Raise the reward!
By PhoenixKnight on 2/13/2009 5:23:54 PM , Rating: 3
I suppose they might catch on when I turn in the tenth or eleventh person though.

You can just have a casual acquaintance turn someone in for you. Then, once they have the reward, use the worm you planted on their computer to steal their bank account number and take the money for yourself.

RE: Raise the reward!
By austinag on 2/13/2009 5:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
You must be rich, I'd turn in my grandma for 50 grand.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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