There is a big virus that will be activated tomorrow. Yes, it is real. Apparently it’s authors have a sense of morbid humor.
World wide, network administrator and users alike are bracing for an April 1st attack from the Conficker worm.
What is the Conficker worm?
When the Conficker worm infects a computer, it checks the local network for any other computers to infect. It also copies itself to any removable flash drives or storage. It then connects to other infected machines and checks for a payload. Past payloads have generaly just been newer versions of the worm, or other malwares.
The April 1st attack will likely be a new payload to be dispersed among infected machines. This payload could do any number of things, possibility include;
- A DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, causing all infected machines to visit one web site, causing a huge load on that site and bringing it down
- A Spam attack, causing all infected machines to send out spam e-mails to anyone on that persons mailing list and/or a list contained in the payload.
- Steal information from the infected computer, including usernames and passwords, account numbers, address books, and the like.
or it could just simply be a new variation of the same virus, in an attempt to infect more machines.
How can you avoid the Conficker worm?
The first step is to make sure you have an up-to-date anti-virus software. Having an out of date anti-virus software is almost as bad as not having any at all. On-Site Computer Solutions recommends Norton Anti-Virus 2009.
Secondly, make sure your version of Windows is up to date. A visit to http://update.microsoft.com will allow you to check and update any Microsoft software you have installed on your system. Microsoft has released a patch to fix the security hole exploited by Conficker.
Lastly, treat e-mail and websites with a healthy dose of suspicion, and you should have nothing to worry about on April Fool’s Day.