Friday, February 13, 2009

Bill Gates Puts a Hit Out on the Guy Who Created the Conflicker

Microsoft is offering a $1/4 million reward to anyone who can lead them to the programmer who developed the Downadup/Conflicker virus! Technically, Microsoft is calling the reward a "bounty" and said it considers the worm - which has infected millions of systems since its release last October - a criminal attack. The Cyberculturalist agrees.

The Downadup virus is particularly effective, passing from computer to computer through USB hubs, removable data sticks, and similar methods. It collects usernames and passwords, and checks in with its distributors through a website to which it reports its findings.

The Conflicker is one of a new kind of trojan/worm which creates domains and passes the information it collects along to its creators who wait to use it. When triggered, the virus can command control of infected machines, sending out bulk spam and more. This particular virus has yet to be triggered.

While Microsoft insists they have not seen an infection outbreak like this since 2003-04, cynics say the majority of the infected computers are overseas - particularly among those with pirated copies of the Windows OS.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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