Worried about the Conficker worm striking on April 1st? A few simple steps can protect you.
Target: All users of Windows XP and Windows Vista.
If you’re worried about the Conficker worm striking on April 1st, don’t be.
On April 1st the Conficker worm will simply start taking more steps to protect itself. Beginning on April 1st the worm will use a communications system that is more difficult for security researchers to interrupt.
■What does the Conficker worm do?
■Who is at risk?
■What to do if you are infected?
The Conficker worm, sometimes called Downadup or Kido has managed to infect a large number of computers. Specifics are hard to come by, but some researchers estimate that millions of computers have been infected with this threat since January. Current users of Symantec’s Norton security products are protected. Users who lack protection are invited to download a trial version of Norton AntiVirus 2009,Norton Internet Security 2009 or Norton 360 Version 3.0. If you are unable to reach our web site, you may be infected. In that case you will need to get to a computer that is not infected, download our specialized Conficker removal tool and run it on the infected machine before installing new antivirus software. Symantec has a detailed technical analysis of the threat here.
CBS correspondent Leslie Stahl met with Steve Trilling, Symantec’s VP of Security Technology and Response, to talk about the impact of Conficker worm.
The video is currently unavailable. Click here to read the transcript.
What does the Conficker worm do?
The Conficker worm has created secure infrastructure for cybercrime. The worm allows its creators to remotely install software on infected machines. What will that software do? We don’t know. Most likely the worm will be used to create a botnet that will be rented out to criminals who want to send SPAM, steal IDs and direct users to online scams and phishing sites.
The Conficker worm mostly spreads across networks. If it finds a vulnerable computer, it turns off the automatic backup service, deletes previous restore points, disables many security services, blocks access to a number of security web sites and opens infected machines to receive additional programs from the malware’s creator. The worm then tries to spread itself to other computers on the same network.
How does the worm infect a computer?
The Downadup worm tries to take advantage of a problem with Windows (a vulnerability) called MS08-067 to quietly install itself. Users who automatically receive updates from Microsoft are already protected from this. The worm also tries to spread by copying itself into shared folders on networks and by infecting USB devices such as memory sticks.
Who is at risk?
Users whose computers are not configured to receive patches and updates from Microsoft and who are not running an up to date antivirus product are most at risk. Users who do not have a genuine version of Windows from Microsoft are most at risk since pirated system usually cannot get Microsoft updates and patches.
What to do if you are infected
If you are reading this page, your computer is probably not infected with Conficker as the worm blocks access to most security web sites.
If you have a computer that is infected, you will need to use an uninfected computer to download a specialized Conficker removal tool from. The tool is available here.
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