The ‘ole Conficker worm still infecting PCs years later

‘Obstinate’ Conficker worm infests millions of PCs years later
By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

Suppressed botnet has 7M Windows machines in its grip three years after it first appeared

And Mac users thought they had it bad with their Flashback, which is not good, so don’t get me wrong here. But Apple should be watching closely situations like Conficker worm/botnet. What’s that old saying? But by the grace of God go I? or something like that.

Of course this is one of the most widespread botnets to hit Windows PCs, but still, it’s only one of many that are out there for PCs. And although Microsoft made similar mistakes as Apple in regard to malware/viruses/botnets initially, they made up for it in time. They even put out their own antivirus/antimalware program – Microsoft Security Essentials for free to home users to help protect their users. But even with their experience with these things for many years and learning from their mistakes, there is this…

Concern about Conficker reached a crescendo when the mainstream media, including major television networks, reported that the worm would update itself on April 1, 2009. Because of the size of the Conficker botnet — estimates ran as high as 12 million at that point — and other mysteries, hype ran at fever pitch.

It also urged all Windows users to ensure they have applied the pertinent patch — MS08-067 — and for Windows XP and Vista machines, the March update that disables AutoRun.

Much more in the 2 page article.


A lesson on updating operating systems…

[tweetmeme source=”franscomputerservices” only_single=false]Virus attack hits Vista machines, cripples university network (ZDNet Blogs):

A massive virus attack has hit the University of Exeter resulting in the entire network being shut down both by the virus and the network staff in an attempt to protect the infrastructure.

The virus hit the network on Monday and is still having major implications even now – two days later. According to the IT support email:

…this is a completely new virus and we are the only organisation in the world to experience it. None of the mainstream virus software suppliers have seen this virus, and as such, there is no fix.

Apparently, according to the article, this might not have happened if the administrators of the SUS (Software Updates Service) had auto-approved updates — in other words, might have been avoided if they had patched their Vista operating systems when Microsoft put out the patches for the vulnerability that allowed this to happen.

I would highly recommend that updates be installed ASAP in most cases.