Microsoft rewards Sasser worm informants

Microsoft will pay a combined $250,000 to two people who helped track down the author of the Sasser Internet worm, which infected computers around the globe, the world's largest software maker said on Friday.

A German court hours earlier gave Sven Jaschan a suspended sentence of 21 months after he admitted creating the malicious software program.

Jaschan, 19, was arrested within a week after the Sasser worm first appeared on the Internet in May 2004 and infected more than a million computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

The two individuals, who were not identified, will share the reward, which Microsoft established with Interpol, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, has been trying to make its software more secure and reliable, and has also vowed to go after hackers and others who create worms and malicious software viruses by offering bounties and also suing them in court.

In January, Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle to a year-and-a-half in prison for releasing a variant of the Blaster worm that was used to attack more than 48,000 computers.

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