German law enforcement officials arrested an 18-year old man suspected of creating the Sasser worm that infected thousands of computers running Windows last week, Microsoft announced Saturday.
The reward program that Microsoft launched last fall to catch virus writers helped lead investigators to the suspect, the software giant said.
Informants in Germany approached Microsoft investigators last week and offered to provide information about the creator of the Sasser worm. They asked about their potential to receive a reward, according to Microsoft. The company said it will reward the informants $250,000 when the suspect is convicted.
"The information leading to this arrest resulted in part from Microsoft's antivirus reward program, as well as new technical and investigative techniques we have developed during the past year to address precisely this type of situation," Brad Smith, Microsoft senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.
The suspect allegedly created all four variants of Sasser and German authorities believe he is connected to the 28 variants of the Netsky worm.