We're not over the April 1st hump yet. That's the day Conficker may or may not unleash it's wormy fury on us by sending 10 million infected computers out on the internet to cause trouble. On Sunday, Symantec's Steve Trilling discussed this threat with 60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl and helped people throughout America understand how this worm works and the range of damage we're concerned about. The demonstration of how a hacker can remotely monitor your computing with a keystroke logger was a classic. I encourage you to watch the story, now online, to better understand why the internet security industry is holding its collective breath.
If you've already confirmed your computer is secured (your Windows operating system is getting regular security patches from Microsoft, and your internet security software is up-to-date and running) and you were able to visit the Symantec.com or Microsoft.com website, you're in good shape. If you think you may be infected, you'll have trouble visiting security vendor sites since the worm blocks that access and disables the security software from updating itself and running. For those poor folks, you can still visit the site of the industry "posse", known as the Conficker Working Group.
The Conficker Working Group consists of all the leaders in internet security (including Symantec and Microsoft) and they are actively trying to disable features of the worm and looking to apprehend the worm creators. There is even a $250,000 bounty for information leading to the capture and conviction of these cybercriminals. On the working group website you can download free Conficker removal tools and get more information even if your system is already infected.
Let's hope the collective efforts of the Working Group and the media attention combined either break the worm's spirit or cause the virus writers to change their plans. Either way, this week's focus on this one threat out of the thousands of new ones we see every single day shouldn't be cause for relaxed vigilance after Wednesday ends. Rather, this is just another reminder of the constant battle we are all part of to fight cybercrime, now estimated to be far greater in size than the international drug trade.
Message Edited by marianmerritt on 03-31-2009 11:38 AM