Microsoft Offers $250K Reward for Rustock Information

Microsoft recently announced it is offering a $250,000 reward for any information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those involved with the Rustock spamming botnet. The bounty is part of Microsoft’s ongoing campaign against the authors of the infamous malware.

Rustock, which is known as one of the Internet’s most damaging botnets, was responsible for sending around 30 million emails per day and infiltrating computers when users unknowingly visited compromised websites. A Microsoft-led team seized control of the botnet’s command-and-control servers in March and successfully dismantled the malware.

In efforts to bring the authors of the Rustock to justice, Richard Boscovich, a senior attorney with the company’s digital crimes unit, announced the reward on the company’s blog.

“This reward offer stems from Microsoft's recognition that the Rustock botnet is responsible for a number of criminal activities and serves to underscore our commitment to tracking down those behind it,” he wrote. “While the primary goal for our legal and technical operation has been to stop and disrupt the threat that Rustock has posed for everyone affected by it, we also believe the Rustock bot-herders should be held accountable for their actions.”

Believing the creators are from either St. Petersburg or Moscow, Microsoft last month published notices in two Russian newspapers as part of a legal formality designed to give potential defendants an opportunity to respond to charges. With no responses, Microsoft decided to take its investigation further by offering this $250,000 incentive. 

The reward document provides details about how those with information can contact Microsoft.

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