There is a virus
circulating on the Internet that computer security experts say could
infect one of every three PCs around the world. It began
circulating in November 2008 and in March 2009 warnings began appearing
that this malicious worm could mutate into something much harder to
remove on April 1, 2009.
It’s being called the
CONFICKER or DOWNADUP virus.
It’s been known to
virus-watchers since October 2008 but a new version of it is spreading
like crazy during the month of January 2009.
Especially at risk are
certain computers running Microsoft operating systems that have not been
updated with fixes from Microsoft.
According to the
experts at Panda Security, the virus embeds itself into the code of a
Windows files called “services.exe.” It then copies itself into the
Windows system folder and creates an HTTP server on the computer that
then begins to download files from the web site of a hacker.
The virus has hit hard
in England where it has knocked out computers in businesses and
Because of the design
of the virus and the speed at which it is growing, the experts say the
worst may be yet to come.
published an alert about the virus and if you are not sure of the status
of updates on your machine, you can go to the Microsoft Update Web Site
and download the update.
Most Windows users
have their machines configured to automatically receive updates from
Microsoft and in those cases, you’re probably protected.
for Microsoft Update.
Microsoft also posted
an information page on the Conficker worm with links to protection
utilities for current versions of Microsoft operating systems.
Click for Microsoft information and protection utilities.
One of the ways the
virus enters machines is that it has a clever way of trying to figure
out the password to your computer. Make sure you have a really good
password that would be difficult to decipher. Don’t use common terms
like “admin” or “1234”, etc.
Also, as always, make
sure you have good virus protection software on your computer and that
the virus definitions are up to date.
Computer users running
Windows systems can go to Mcafee for detection and removal tools:
Click for McAfee site.
It is also possible
that USB Flash Drive memory devices can transfer infections onto
computers devices and Panda Software offers a free vaccine product for
Click for Panda USB Vaccine