Microsoft has formed a technology industry "posse" and put a bounty of $250,000 on the heads of those responsible for the Conficker (Downadup) worm.
According to wire reports, Microsoft is working with computer security specialists and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to track down the people who unleashed Conficker, which has been plaguing IT and security departments for nearly a month.
"The best way to defeat potential botnets like Conficker/Downadup is by the security and domain-name system communities working together," says ICANN chief Internet security adviser Greg Rattray.
Microsoft promises to pay $250,000 for information that leads to the capture and conviction of the people who launched the malicious code on the Internet.
"We hope these efforts help to contain the threat posed by Conficker, as well as hold those who illegally launch malware accountable," says George Stathakopoulos, general manager of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.
The rest of the posse includes Symantec, F-Secure, VeriSign, Afilias, Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), and the Shadowserver Foundation.
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