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Microsoft to offer bounty for information on hackers
( 2003-11-05 11:51) (Xinhua)

US software maker Microsoft will offer two 250,000-dollar bounties for information that leads to the arrest of the people who released the MSBlast worm and the SoBig computer virus, CNET News reported Tuesday.

The two virus programs attacked computers worldwide that run Microsoft's Windows operating system, causing havoc among companies and home users in August and September.

The Microsoft reward will be announced at a joint press conference with the FBI on Wednesday, according to the CNET report.

It marks the latest move by Microsoft and law enforcement departments to track down those responsible for infecting hundreds of thousands of computers in August and September.

The CNET report said Microsoft would foot the entire bill for the bounties, and law enforcement authorities neither approved nor disapproved such rewards.

The MSBlast virus, also known as Blaster and Lovsan, spread to as many as 1.2 million computers worldwide, according to data from US computer security company Symantec.

The virus uses a serious vulnerability in Windows systems, especially in Windows XP and Windows 2000.

The Sobig. F virus spread through e-mail, compromising users' computers with software designed to turn the systems into tools for junk e-mailers. The number of computers affected by the virus is unknown.

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