Over the past couple of weeks our technicians have been receiving a lot of questions regarding the Conficker worm. As a result, I wanted to address some of the most frequently asked questions on protection, infection and removal procedures. The goal of this post is to not over-hype the problem with technical jargon. We simply want to inform our readers on the worms capabilities and the tools available to address them.
What is Conficker?
Conficker is malicious software that is spreading rapidly by exploiting security weaknesses in the Windows Operating System. The software program continues to evolve and spread throughout computer networks. If infected, the software is scheduled to receive instructions on April 1. The intent of the worm is still being debated.
How does the worm spread?
It attacks a vulnerability in a Windows service that enables a computer to be remotely attacked and taken over. Once a computer is infected the worm can spread through password-protected network shares and infect other client computers. In addition, the worm infects removable devices (example: USB Thumb Drives) and spreads when the devices are plugged into additional computers.
How do I protect my computer?
Download and install the latest security patches via Windows Update. A patch was released in October of last year to address security exploits: Windows XP Patch
Update your Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software. Make sure your security software is updated. The malicious software has the capability to disable security software from updating. We’ve seen cases where it blocks access to well-known security websites.
Perform an Anti-virus scan before April 1st to ensure that you’re not infected by the virus.
Are there Conficker removal tools available?
Windows Removal Tool: Link to Download Page
Symantec (Creator of Norton) Removal Tool: Link to Download Page
Malwarebytes: Link to Download Page
OneCare Online Scanner and Removal Tool: Link to Online Scanner
Leave us a comment if you have questions on protection or removal. We’ll be glad to help out.