Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

Summary: Microsoft is offering a $250,000 reward for information related to the Rustock botnet.

TOPICS: Microsoft

Microsoft is offering a $250,000 reward for information related to the Rustock botnet.

Today, we take our pursuit a step further. After publishing notices in two Russian newspapers last month to notify the Rustock operators of the civil lawsuit, we decided to augment our civil discovery efforts to identify those responsible for controlling the notorious Rustock botnet by issuing a monetary reward in the amount of $250,000 for new information that results in the identification, arrest and criminal conviction of such individual(s).

The Rustock botnet is responsible for a great deal of cyber crime, spam (the botnet has capacity for 30 billion spam mails every day), dodgy pharmaceuticals, counterfeit stuff and pirated software.

The size of the Rustock botnet has already been cut in half, but that still leaves it with hundreds of thousands of systems under its control. In order to bring down the entire botnet Microsoft is now turning to the legal system.

So, if you have any info ... well, you could make a few dollars.

Topic: Microsoft

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I'd love it

    ....if someone got an inside look at the MS DCU. To date, I have never seen anyone cover that side of Microsoft. The closest thing I've seen is coverage on the security team (if there was one) when they were planning the Trustworthy Computing Initiative part way through XP's lifecycle.
  • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

    It would also help if ISP's monitored-for & intervened when excessive emails are being sent from a single end-user connection. The article mentions ~10,000 emails/hour, which is way larger than a typical home, or small business would normally generate.

    No need to rant about the vulnerability of MS products; we all know that is a big part of the problem.
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      10.000 e/mails an hour is nothing for a small business sending out a newsletter
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      Not all 10000 emails would come from the same source at the same time. If 1000 nodes send 10 emails an hour, how would the ISP catch that?

      Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.
      • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

        @914four Well, Bell Canada will shut down their Sympatico Internet service for spam. It happened to someone I know. My junk email was full of spam from her. But, no, she couldn't be infected because AVG said that she wasn't. She got shut down. But our local cable company doesn't catch it. Another friend had the same thing and didn't get shut down. Some catch it, others don't.

        I wish Microsoft luck with the lawsuit. Russia doesn't cooperate with anyone. They're not likely to get any bites on the reward either. It's not worth your life.
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      @gregebert Ummm ISP's continually monitor that sort of thing. We have our own server and host hundreds of websites. Occasionally one or more of these have had email accounts compromised, resulting in excessive emails being set as spam. The way WE have always found out is that our ISP then blacklisted our mail server....
  • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

    how can i get my reward
  • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

    $250,000.00 is nothing especially when half of this will be gone to the IRS. The amount should be one million dollars. Just think about the the millions of dollars caused in damages and Microsoft is going to write this off in their next tax period anyway.
    The Punisher
    • You're so right

      @The Punisher
      A quarter million wouldn't replace the carpet in a Microsoft exec's office. If MS were serious, it would be at least a million, and even that might not get the attention of the Russian Mob!
      • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

        If MS would make it 1mill tax free they would have the culprit in their hands the same day :-)
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      @The Punisher Who said anything about the tip having to come from the US? $250,000 would go a long way in parts of the world where they've never even heard of the IRS.
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      @The Punisher half to the IRS? It's pay, not a gift. I'm pretty sure, Microsoft would make you a 1099, don't ya think?
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      @The Punisher I'm just curious... when will you put up $250,000 of your own money to stop something that has very little to do with actually selling products?

      Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Just blame it on Al Qaeda...

    ... that's what the U.S. government does when something "bad" happens, even though all the evidence points against it.

    (Just google "Family Guy Ground Zero", to see what I mean)
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      @cosuna Microsoft is offering 250,000. You know Microsoft, correct? Ran by a Billionaire whom now runs the largest non-profit company in the world, called Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation......Nobody said anything about the Government, in the my opinion. Nice useless rant, though.....again, in my opinion.
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      @cosuna blaming it on Al Qaeda usually means we are about to get our rights trampled by the government. The two go hand and hand. It's the excuse they continue to use time and time again.
  • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

    Reading the comments and feedback here for this article has clued me in on one important thing. The Rustock botnet represents a new kind of warfare, as do all viruses produced to bring down a large number of computers. It's time we stopped treating these things like it's Microsoft's fault. It's like blaming the maker of your car for your tires going flat because you drove it over a bed of nails. What needs to be done is to let any country know that if a citizen of their country writes a malicious virus aimed at US computer, it's an act of war. If it is found that a US citizen is writing this code, then it should be considered treason and the punishment should be meted out for that crime. The people who should be footing the reward costs is not Microsoft, but rather all those corporations who have beeen affected, or are at risk because of the Rustock botnet. This is what happens when a nation turns its back on its young for forty years. Tere is an axiom I've lived my life by for nearly half a century ... <br><br>"In life, there are no punishments. There are no rewards. There are only consequences."<br><br>It is time people in all walks of society to be obliged to face the consequences. For those of you that think Microsoft are cheapskates and feel they should cough up more money to offer as a reward ... Bear in mind that Microsoft needn't put forth a dime. I am considering going to and setting up a contributory pledge funded reward for the pursuit, arrest, and incarceration of Virus authors. Because until we make it very painful for such crimes to be committed, theyll continue almost unchecked. The International Court also needs to take part in correcting this problem. Since it is obvious that CNET, TECHREPBLIC, and ZDNET have started taking their IT cues from such experts as the FOX News Network (who think that computing in the cloud means they will have work stations set up in some cumilus-nimbus formation over the Rocky Mointains), I think after 14 years of loyal patronage, it's time to pack up my kit and go.
    • They are not able to efficiently stop authors.

      @pohsibkcir... I think you are incorrect in stating that it's not Microsofts' fault. In fact, if you go back all the way to Windows 3.1, a pattern emerges that completely incriminates MS.<br><br>They never wrote secure code for their OS. Being closed source, they allowed themselves to ignore thinking about intrusion possibilities while designing their products. Also, almost all "MS" features are from other acquired companies, they found it was not profitable to go back and rewrite the code from the acquired company.<br><br>They got lazy and when an AV company identified a problem, they published the technical data of the malware. Microsoft scooped it up and used it to create a "critical (after-the fact) update". It's obvious that virtually all Microsoft Critical updates are released after AV providers have revised their .dat files.<br><br>You are always taking a chance when using Windows. It's understandable that you would claim <i>"It's time we stopped treating these things like it's Microsoft's fault."</i><br><br>But, really, you don't have any other experience to believe differently. To me, it's all Windows' fault as evidenced by an equivalent OS that is "open source" and doesn't suffer from these maladies. It's silly to keep using Windows when Linux Mint provides the same operation, does not rely on AV, and doesn't get taken over. Many operations are browser driven and there is no difference in browser operation between Linux and Windows.<br><br>The TDL-4 botnet infected 4.5 million computers in the first 3 months of 2011. To me, the real problem is that Windows, gleefully opened the door and said come on in and do whatever you want to my MBR and Hard drive and I won't let the user or AV know about it. <br>The problem isn't the malware, it's Windows ALLOWING something to so thoroughly infect it so easily. It did it 4.5 million times for TDL-4. OK, so you scan and possibly remove it. How does that help if you are infected again the next day. Are you going to perpetually run the scanner all the time?<br><br>Linux is secure without AV and doesn't have these issues. My family has been using it for over 8 years, without AV and without infections.
  • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

    Great! but wait... Maybe life will be too short for those who claims the money.
    Don't forget this is Russia.
    • RE: Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info

      Russia Or China my money is leading way more towards China.... Just google the GhostNet 2.0 Botnet just to give you a idea of the power of that Chinese botnet
      Black H@...