CONFICKER or DOWNADUP Virus and the April 1 Super Strain -Virus!

CONFICKER or DOWNADUP Virus and the April 1 Super Strain – Virus!

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 government.

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.

Microsoft has 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.     Click here 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 USB devices:  Click for Panda USB Vaccine

 Updated 03/30/09