Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Conficker virus could steal your personal data on April Fool's

Ironically, in a conscious bid to rid their computers of the dastardly April Fool's Day Conficker virus, some people may have unwittingly installed it.

TheConfickerCInternetwormis a malicious computer virus that burrows into your hard drive--and was due to begin hatching its nefarious plans Tuesday night at midnight.

The virus was launched in October 2008, and has since infected an estimated 12 million Windowsbased PCs via unreliable websites and downloads.

As the virus moves into its second phase today, it gives an outside user control of the hijacked machine, and there is fear your private information could be stolen.

Only six per cent of all infected computers are in North America, researchers at IBM's Internet Security Systems said Tuesday, while the majority, 45 per cent, exist in Asia. But with so much interest in Conficker in the western world, its creators have found a new viral marketing campaign to keep it alive.

Software security vendor Symantec, publishers of the popular Norton Antivirus, released a report Tuesday that says people were more susceptible to download a copy of the virus simply by searching for "Conficker" in Google. The search brings up 3.2 million mentions of the worm on the Internet, some of them hoax websites that actually host the virus and infect any users who surf those sites.
"Be careful with the links you follow," the company warned in a news release. "A sincere effort of keeping abreast with the latest security information might contain some unwelcome surprises."

The worm, one that's been difficult to identify and remove, has been one of the most sophisticated and potentially dangerous that many in the information security business have faced. It exploits weaknesses in the Windows operating system and conceals itself on a hard drive, laying dormant until midnight this morning, when it was expected to search out its originator and seek further instructions.

To hide its tracks and protect its creators, the virus generates a list of tens of thousands of URLs or domain names, any one of which could be its central command centre. Until it is dismantled, Conficker will generate 50,000 brand new URLs a day and will search for 500 of those names on a daily basis, according to security vendor Websense Inc.

Apple Macintosh and Linux users aren't affected, since Conficker only attacks PCs running Windows. Unfortunately, that means nine out of every 10 computers in the world could be a carrier.


HL said...

the yellow worm on the keyboard was so cute lah :-) but in fact the Conficker virus is NOT !!

BH said...

Hehe....the yellow worm might be cute to you, but surely if it's harmful to your pc or laptop, then it'll turn ugly :P

HL said...

yes sir !!