Mar 26

Security experts have joined forces to hunt down the Conficker C computer worm and prevent it from damaging millions of computers on April Fool’s Day.  They are motivated in part by a $250,000 bounty from Microsoft for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible hacker(s).

“We love catching bad guys,” said Alvin Estevez, CEO of Enigma Software Group, one of many companies trying to break the Conficker virus.  “We’re like former hackers who like to catch other hackers.  To us, we get almost a feather in our cap to be able to knock out that worm.  We slap each other five when we’re killing those infections.”

The malicious Conficker program has already infected between 5 million and 10 million computers.  Those infections haven’t caused many problems yet, but according to the virus code, a master computer is scheduled to gain control of infected machines on April 1.

What happens then is anyone’s guess.  The program could delete files on infected computers, orchestrate denial-of-service attacks to shut down websites, or monitor a person’s keystrokes to steal private information like passwords and bank account numbers.  Experts say computer hackers have mostly migrated from computer vandalism and now focus on making money.  Some security researchers say the Conficker worm will go the way of the Y2K millennium bug, in other words, no big deal.

If your computer did not receive automatic Windows updates in March, it may be infected.  Windows users can also visit to scan their PC.  You should also check your antivirus software to ensure it has received the latest updates, which could have been disabled by Conficker C.

Story at CNN

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Article published on March 26, 2009

2 Responses to “April Fool’s Worm is No Joke”

  1. caffeine head Says:

    ironically, to help people from being affected by Conficker, the government could issue a public statement telling people to stay *outside* as much as possible…

  2. Best April Fool’s Day Computer Pranks Says:

    […] Computers are a great medium for April Fool’s jokers because most users have no clue what goes on behind those blinking computer lights.  So when a hapless user is hit with a computer prank, they immediately suspect a malfunction, virus or worse. […]

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