Some of you may have read that latest news that Microsoft has put out a $250,000 reward to find who is behind the Conficker worm that is said to have infected as many as 12 million computers. They are doing this because it has taken the firm view that the creation of the Conficker worm as a criminal act.
This may seem like a bold move but it is not the first time they have done this. In 2005 they paid $250,000 to two individuals who helped identify the creator of the Sasser worm. Rewards were also offered of $250,000 for the creators of the other three major computer worms Blaster, MyDoom and Sobig however the authors of these were never caught.
In reality this amount of money is a small drop in the ocean for a company like Microsoft but in doing so they are trying to send out a strong message to the authors of such worms. They are simply saying that they will not sit idly by while the creators wreak havoc on their clients systems. In reality the fact of the matter is that regardless of what Microsoft or Microsoft Trustworth Computing Group offer it seems that it will offer very little in the way of a deterrent for such authors as it is a challenge that they enjoy rising to. What it does do is help their clients to feel that they are doing all they can to try an prevent such hassles returning in the future.
The worm itself infects a computer that is not fully up to date with the latest updates from the Microsoft Update website. If you are in any doubt then the best action is to visit the Microsoft Update website and apply all the latest critical updates. Once this is complete continue to revisit the site until you are told there are no further critical updates. You should also ensure that your Anti-Virus software is fully up-to-date, if you don’t already have one then visit either AVG or aVast who both provide free versions for home use.