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Microsoft is trying to put some pressure on the criminals responsible for the worst Internet worm outbreak in years, offering a US$250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Conficker's creators.
Conficker, also known as the Downadup worm, takes advantage of a critical bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system, which was patched last October. Since late December the worm has emerged as one of the worst computer threats in years, infecting more than 10 million computer systems worldwide, including PCs within the British and French militaries.
Win32/Conficker is a worm that infects other computers across a network by exploiting a vulnerability in the Windows Server service (SVCHOST.EXE). If the vulnerability is successfully exploited, it could allow remote code execution when file sharing is enabled. Depending on the specific variant, it may also spread via removable drives and by exploiting weak passwords. It disables several important system services and security products and downloads arbitrary files.