Conficker: One year old and still a threat

By : |April 7, 2010 0

Shrikanth G

BANGALORE, INDIA: Conficker Worm completed its first anniversary on April 1.  The virus which created fears of digital Armageddon by first of April last year  with security experts warning that it will invade computers across the world- but fortunately it failed to create such havoc and went into denial mode.

But security experts are yet to dismiss Conficker as harmless as it is still seen as a big threat given the multiple and unsuspecting ways it infects computers. The worm has the capability bring down some of the critical systems of the world. Take the case of Greater Manchester police in UK, its computers were crippled by Conficker recently in February 2010 to the extent that it forced officers to depend on computers at neighbouring jurisdiction for accessing the criminal records database.




Estimates at this point suggest that close to seven million computers were infected with this worm across the world. Security experts caution that since the worm is closely linked to its April 1 dateline which is seen as the activation date. While some security experts dismiss this April 1 connection, but it is widely believed hackers often exploit major festivals for spreading PC threats in the form of greetings messages-so if you happen to receive a all fools day greetings message with a link-you can act smart by not clicking and it would be really foolish to click on the link and let your PC get infected by this crude worm.

In case your system gets infected by Conficker, it creates havoc. According to information available from researchers at BitDefender, they caution that Conficker will become a major force in 2010. The wide ranging impact Conficker will create are ones like: completely neutralizing systems and exposing them to dangerous security breaches on user networks, denial of service by paralysing websites, faking pay per click internet advertising systems by auto clicking advertisements for financial gain, putting key loggers leading to pass words and other confidential financial information getting stolen and harvesting email and sending bulk spam mails. Conficker can also infect mobile devices like cell phones which is more vulnerable as many users do not have dedicated anti-virus solutions.

Clearly Conficker is a new age worm that cons users and enterprise IT community. Experts suggest that both the consumers and enterprises must adopt pro-active security measures and use multipronged security mechanisms like firewall, anti-virus and anti-spam solutions to ward of this digital menace. 




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