Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"ALGORITHMS: Conflicker so far a dud, but stay tuned"

Malware known as Conficker 2.0 was poised to strike on April Fools Day, but has so far proven to be a dud. Conficker is a malicious worm that has so far infected 9 million Windows-based PCs since it was a first detected in October 2008. Experts are unsure whether Conficker will simply display a harmless April Fools Day message or, for example, begin harvesting PC user names and passwords or even erase hard disks. Security experts advise that Windows PC users run their virus-scanning software today (March 31) to ensure they have downloaded and installed all the latest security system updates from Microsoft.

BOTTOM LINE: Conficker has begun upgrading itself to 2.0 status worldwide on more than nine million infected PCs. So far they have not begun performing any malicious behaviors, but the worm may be waiting until all the zombie PCs are updated before they join together into a worldwide botnet. The worm could also remain dormant until the whole world relaxes before it strikes.

Microsoft has set up a special Web site to assist users in thwarting Conficker.