11th July 2005 Software titan Microsoft has paid out a $250,000 bounty to informers who helped bring the teenager behind the infamous Sasser worm to justice.
Two unnamed informants will share the reward, which is funded by Microsoft’s scheme, established in co-operation with Interpol and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sven Jaschan, 19, was given a 21-month suspended sentence by a German court last week after confessing to creating the worm, which specifically targeted Microsoft operating systems and cost businesses across the globe millions of dollars.
The German computer enthusiast, who also authored the NetSky worm – and now works for a computer security firm – released the Sasser worm on May 1 2004. Within a week it had infected 18 million computers, causing havoc. Jaschan was arrested a few days before his eighteenth birthday, and this has meant he will not serve time in jail.
“[Jaschan] took malicious pleasure in making computers around the world crash,” said a court spokesman after the trial.
Microsoft has consistently reiterated its commitment to IT security, amid criticism that its software development practices are a major cause of problems. It has made the tracking of virus writers a priority of its security focus, offering monetary incentives for information on virus authors.