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Microsoft Puts Bounty on MyDoom.B Writer

Following in the footsteps of the SCO Group Inc., Microsoft on Thursday put up a $250,000 bounty for the perpetrators of MyDoom.B.

MyDoom.B is the second version of the MyDoom mass-mailing worm that emerged this week and spread at a record pace. MyDoom harvests e-mail addresses, opens a backdoor that scans a TCP port and copies itself to other computers after generating randomized from addresses, subjects lines and body text.

The first version, MyDoom.A, is written to launch a distributed denial-of-service attack next month against SCO, which is vilified in the tech community worldwide because of the company's intellectual property lawsuits involving Linux. (See related article).

SCO responded on Tuesday by offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the virus author.

The MyDoom.B version is written to launch a DDoS attack against Microsoft instead of SCO next month. The virus also attempts to block computer users from accessing Microsoft's Web site along with dozens of other Web sites in order to prevent them from removing the program from infected machines.

"This worm is a criminal attack," Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. "Microsoft wants to help the authorities catch this criminal."

Microsoft's reward comes out of a $5 million reward program the software giant unveiled in November. It is the third bounty Microsoft has offered through the program.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.