Microsoft and Cybersecurity Superfriends Offer $250k for Conficker Worm Maker

Microsoft is offering a $250,000 bounty for the Conficker worm's designer. Microsoft isn't alone in this hunt for the writer of the biggest PC worm in recent history.

They've got a team of superfriends involved with the hunt:

Symantec, F-Secure, VeriSign, Afilias, Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), and the Shadowserver Foundation.

The worm itself is dangerous, although it hasn't done any real damage yet. It has infected 15m PCs so far, setting them up for a yet-to-come malicious payload.

Two hard questions come to mind. Why can't the FBI handle this? And wouldn't that money be better spent on PSAs informing users to install the available patch for the vulnerability? Then again, I suppose that they're sending a message to all hackers. Microsoft will buy off your friends, and at least one of them will sell you out. That, and Microsoft is scared of you. [Yahoo via BBG]