3.31.2009

Be prepared for Conficker worm attack

Conficker, also known as Downadup or Kido, first appeared last November. The worm is self-replicating and has attacked vulnerability in machines using Microsoft's Windows operating system, the software that runs most computers.

The reason for the concern around Conficker is that 1 April is the day the worm is set to change the way it updates itself, moving to a system that is much harder to combat.


How the Conficker worm works

Courtesy of microsoft.com


Discussions and articles surrounding Conficker have mushroomed on the web. Some articles are worthy to read either to prepare you protecting from the attack or simply to add your knowledge. Here are glances and links of Conficker articles from reliable sources.


Last-minute Conficker survival guide

Tomorrow -- April 1 -- is D-Day for Conficker, as whatever nasty payload it's packing is currently set to activate. What happens come midnight is a mystery: Will it turn the millions of infected computers into spam-sending zombie robots? Or will it start capturing everything you type -- passwords, credit card numbers, etc. -- and send that information back to its masters?

No one knows, but we'll probably find out soon.

Or not. As Slate notes, Conficker is scheduled to go "live" on April 1, but whoever's controlling it could choose not to wreak havoc but instead do absolutely nothing, waiting for a time when there's less heat. They can do this because the way Conficker is designed is extremely clever: Rather than containing a list of specific, static instructions, Conficker reaches out to the web to receive updated marching orders via a huge list of websites it creates. Conficker.C -- the latest bad boy -- will start checking 50,000 different semi-randomly-generated sites a day looking for instructions, so there's no way to shut down all of them. If just one of those sites goes live with legitimate instructions, Conficker keeps on trucking. Link


A Message For Your IT Director About the Conficker Worm

Many businesses often wait to push Windows Updates to computers on a network. IT Directors tend to prevent updates and patches our of concern for how those updates will conflict with your server or network. Allowing automatic updates could potentially break your operations.

However, I want to encourage you to ask your IT manager or provider whether you are protected against the Conficker virus that is catching the world by storm. Over 10 million PCs have been infected by this virus and many business computers are infected as well. This virus is difficult to detect but you can protect yourself with a simple Windows and antivirus update. Link


Conficker Set to Strike: Protect Yourself with These Tips and Tools

Security watchdogs warn that millions could be affected by the Conficker worm tomorrow - unfortunately this is not in an April Fool's Day joke. Over nine million PCs are already infected and a new variant of the virus could threaten those who didn't patch their PCs with the latest security updates.

Symantec warns that on April 1st Conficker "will simply start taking more steps to protect itself." After tomorrow, machines infected with the new "C strain" of Conficker may not be able to get security updates or patches from Microsoft and other security products vendors, says the company. Known also as Downadup or Kido, Conficker is a worm whose purpose security researchers couldn't decipher yet. Link


Your Conficker To-Do List

Worried about Wednesday's Conficker update? Here are eight action items that will help you weather the potential storm.

Unless you're living in a cave, by now you've heard that a worm known as Conficker (or Downadup, or Kido) has infested computer systems around the world, and that it will do something April 1st, though nobody knows exactly what. How can you be sure your computer doesn't become a casualty? Here are eight action items—things you can do yourself to weather the potential storm. Link


How will the April Fools' computer worm affect you?

Remember the dire predictions surrounding the "millennium bug?" The doom-and-gloom scenarios bandied about by security analysts on how computers could act when their clocks turned to January 1, 2000?

Well, researchers are hoping that a potential April Fools' time bomb -- the Conficker.c that is supposed to hit computers on April 1 -- turns out to be equally unfounded.

But realizing that hope alone is not a prudent option, here is a primer on the worm so you can adequately prepare yourself -- and your computer. Link


Protect yourself from the Conficker computer worm

The Conficker worm is a computer worm that can infect your computer and spread itself to other computers across a network automatically, without human interaction.

Most antivirus software could detect and block the Conficker worm, so if you have updated antivirus software on your computer, you are at a much lower risk of being infected by the Conficker worm.

If you or your network administrator have not installed the latest security updates from Microsoft and your antivirus provider, and if you have file-sharing turned on, the Conficker worm could allow remote code execution. Remote code execution allows an attacker to take control of your computer and use it for malicious purposes. Link


Conficker's Viral Marketing Campaign

The computer worm may be dangerous, but it's also boosting the cybersecurity industry's profile.

Rarely has a piece of software that's done so little been talked about so much.

Since the beginning of the year, the Conficker worm, a parasitic program seemingly created in China and currently infecting more than a million computers, has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and even on 60 Minutes, the sort of media attention not paid to a computer virus since the Blaster worm of 2004. A Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) search on "conficker" revealed more than 3.2 million mentions of the virus. One, in eWeek, compared the program's notoriety to Paris Hilton's. Link

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1 comment:

Coffee Maker said...

only a little while now until Conficker is supposed to take effect... hopefully people have already found whatever fixes they needed to find