The hackers behind the worm have yet to give it any specific orders. "That's the interesting thing. The only thing the worm is being asked to do is to ask for further instructions," Steve Trilling, vice president of security firm Symantec, told the CBS program "60 Minutes" in a story aired on Sunday.
Do YOU know what Conficker is? You Should...
According to Wikipedia, Conficker is a computer worm virus that surfaced in October 2008 and has 4-5 iterations existing in the wild. It is also known as Downup, Kido, and Downadup.
How do I know if I have Conficker? Conficker gets into your PC and then stops you from being able to visit anti-virus and anti-spyware websites. Conficker also has the uncanny ability to copy itself when you reboot your machine.
Conficker's intended sinister attack is as-yet unknown, however, Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes reported on Sunday that Conficker's intended use is to lie in wait, collecting every keystroke we make on our machines, and then report that data to a host. The danger is that most of us log in to financial websites, credit card accounts, online banking, and make purchases online, and then our identity can be stolen.
The sad part is that Conficker's attack could have been prevented...The patch that closes the loophole was actually available from Microsoft months before Conficker hit cyberspace. The Microsoft Windows patch, MS08-067, can be downloaded on machines that are not infected to protect it from Conficker's wrath. However, if you haven't downloaded that patch, your detection and removal will be more difficult.
The difficulty comes in Conficker's own programming, but this may also be a key to it's neutralization. Once Conficker detects a system where MS08-067 has not been applied, it installs itself and then applies a specialized version of MS08-67 that's meant to make everything look kosher. But - and this is a big BUT - network technicians discovered over the weekend that server and computer behavior look a lot different than they should where Conficker has installed itself.
The bottom line is if you an visit Symantec, McAfee, or other anti-virus sites, it's likely you don't have Conficker. However, most of these sites have free Conficker Removal Tools. And, it's always a good idea to download automatic updates from Windows to ensure you are protected against attacks.
Since Conficker can stop automatic Windows updates, take the time now to open your Windows Explorer Browser, Click Tools, and then Click Windows Update to be sure you have the most updated software available.
For a link on how to remove Conficker directly from Microsoft, click here. Happy Computing!
Posted By: Christianne Gordon - Northern Nevada Real Estate Agent - Realtor with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, specializing in Carson Valley Real Estate and Northern Nevada Real Estate.