Conficker Remains On The Threat Radar Doug Caverly
2009-08-27 The Conficker worm didn't bring about a virtual apocalypse on April 1st, and for that, the security community was thankful. Yet at the same time, Conficker didn't commit hara-kiri or disappear, and it's continued to spread and pose a threat to this day.
Conficker Remains On The Threat Radar
Conficker was first discovered in November of 2008. It managed to infect computers running Windows at a stunning rate, worming (pun intended) its way onto perhaps as many as 15 million of them at one point.
But since Conficker was scheduled to activate on April 1st of this year, even experts weren't quite sure whether to expect some sort of catastrophic attack or just the Internet's biggest April Fools' Day prank.
Now, although experts are still uncertain of Conficker's purpose, it remains quite large.
In fact, John Markoff
writes, "With more than 5 million of these zombies now under its control--government, business and home computers in more than 200 countries--this shadowy computer has power that dwarfs that of the world's largest data centers."
Researchers are still attempting to address the matter, however. Innovative antivirus software has made older versions of Conficker less threatening, and a volunteer group that counts Microsoft, Symantec, and a number of other companies and universities as members still meets every so often.
The FBI's trying to determine who's responsible for Conficker, too, which adds a whole different dimension.
Hopefully the program's authors have decided to abandon the program. If something else is going on, the good guys have at least made some progress and gained a better understanding of the computer worm, which should lessen any negative effects.