Microsoft offers bounty on virus writers

FRAMINGHAM (11/07/2003) - Microsoft Corp. is dipping into its sizeable cash reserves to offer rewards of US$250,000 each to anyone who can help track down the authors of the SoBig and Blaster worms that wreaked havoc with Microsoft software and crippled many corporate networks. Two people have been arrested for unleashing variants of Blaster, but the original author remains at large. The bounties are part of a $5 million fund Microsoft has established to help law enforcement snare computer bad guys. The company got a show of support during a news conference this week from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service and Interpol. Microsoft has spent millions of dollars over the past two years on its Trustworthy Computing initiative, which is designed to produce secure code, but security vulnerabilities have persisted in its software, including 47 this year. Now the company is committing millions of dollars to attack the problem from the other end of the spectrum - those who exploit those vulnerabilities.

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