SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft is offering a bounty to anyone who can give it some concrete information about the people that created the Rustock botnet.
The firm is offering the lucky punter a quarter of a million dollars if they can help it locate, arrest and convict the people involved in creating and running the Rustock botnet.
This is the latest in a series of salvos fired by Microsoft at the botnet, a recent one of which stopped Rustock in its tracks, or rather, in its zombie computers. This was not enough, and Microsoft has added some weight to the book that it wants to throw at the perpetrators.
"After publishing notices in two Russian newspapers last month to notify the Rustock operators of the civil lawsuit, we decided to augment our civil discovery efforts to identify those responsible for controlling the notorious Rustock botnet by issuing a monetary reward in the amount of $250,000 for new information that results in the identification, arrest and criminal conviction of such individual(s)," wrote the firm in a post on its Technet web site.
"This reward offer stems from Microsoft's recognition that the Rustock botnet is responsible for a number of criminal activities and serves to underscore our commitment to tracking down those behind it. While the primary goal for our legal and technical operation has been to stop and disrupt the threat that Rustock has posed for everyone affected by it, we also believe the Rustock bot-herders should be held accountable for their actions."
Microsoft reckons that it has halved the amount of spam sent out by infected computers since it started lining up the Rustock smackdown, but added that it has more work to do before all of the infected computers will be cleared up and their infections removed. µ
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