Microsoft is trying to put some pressure on the creators of the Conficker Internet worm (otherwise known as Downadup) that has infected millions of Windows PCs in record time. According to reports, the company is prepared to shell out the sum of $250,000 to anyone that can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the malicious code.

The software giant said it was also working with security researchers, domain name registrars and the ICANN hoping to take down the servers that have been launching attacks. The worm, which first appeared late last year, takes advantage of a critical bug in Windows systems to spread, and even though the flaw was already patch by Microsoft back in October it is estimated that about 12 million machines have been infected.

The $250,000 reward may be a strong incentive to anyone who may know those responsible for Conficker and it wouldn't be the first time Microsoft has offered such a bounty. In 2003 it offered the same amount, to no avail, for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of those behind the infamous SoBig and Blaster worms. Later, in 2004, it paid $250,000 to two people for identifying the teenager who wrote the Sasser worm.