Microsoft Confident Reward System Will Lead To Arrest of Blaster, MyDoom Writers

On Tuesday, Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Nancy Anderson said the software giant's $5 million reward program is beginning to pay off--and future arrests are likely.

Anderson said Microsoft provided technical assistance to the FBI, Secret Service and German authorities that led to the arrest on Saturday of the teenager believed to be responsible for creating both the Sasser and Netsky worms that infected millions of PCs. Information leading to the arrest resulted in part from Microsoft's antivirus reward program.

"Since November, a number of individuals have come forward providing information about worms and malicious code being distributed," Anderson said, adding that the FBI is pleased with the quality of information received after the program was launched last fall. "They have ongoing investigations, and we do expect [more arrests]. These are truly criminal activities," she said.

On Saturday, May 7, German authorities arrested 18-year old Sven Jaschan for allegedly creating five variants of the Sasser worm that crippled millions of systems in early May and 28 variants of the Netsky worm. The teen's mother owns a computer store, PC-Help, in the small town of Waffensen, AP reported.

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Anderson declined to comment on how close officials are to other arrests but said the reward system and Microsoft's technical efforts are generating strong leads. "All of these investigations are ongoing," she said.

Anderson declined to comment on the fate of the German teen but said Microsoft is hopeful laws will be enforced stringently.

"It's in the hands of the German law enforcement and the justice system," she said, noting that the Sasser creator and those behind MyDoom and Blaster will be treated as criminals, not computer hobbyists. "We fully expect they will be brought to justice."

Microsoft did not provide an official update to the status of its Windows XP Service Pack 2 but said that the release candidate now available includes a fix for the vulnerability in Windows that the Sasser worm exploited. Microsoft executives also said the Windows XP SP2 Firewall that is turned on as a default would make a PC immune to the Sasser worm.