Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Worm in My Salad

This morning, as I was enjoying my daily cup of coffee during breakfast, I picked up the paper and started browsing through the Philippine Daily Inquirer issue for today, and I ran across the "The World" section of their paper. The title itself, and its respective font size was enough to catch my attention and make me read it -- "Computer experts warn of April Fool's Day worm".

Great. So some evil computer genius thought that it'd be fun to let out loose another cyber monster. The worm is named the Conficker Worm, and it is said that it targets computers running Microsoft Software. It has the characteristic of hopping from one computer to another over a local network, or travelling through your seemingly harmless flash drives (Asia news network, 2009).

So what damage can this worm do? Well this clever devil's motives are still unclear to experts. As they have put it, the said malware was very well designed. It may stay dormant in your computer for a certain period of time until the "master mind" decides that it's time to re-activate it and wreak havoc. As of now, what they know for certain is that it has been programmed to reach out to 250 websites daily to download commands or instructions from the "masters", but since it's AFD today, the creator decided to step-up the fun and expand by connecting to 50,000 randomly-generated sites and wait for instructions. We'll just never know if you're favorite sites are safe from the worm. Facebook, anyone? The new variant of the worm is called the "Conficker.C", and one of the notorious traits that is has is that it disables the automatic Windows Updates for Microsoft Users. The Automatic Updates for Windows is really essential because it is the source of security updates for the Windows OS.

There is really no assurance that this worm can be eradicated right away. What the experts have right now are anti-malware scanners and removers. But of course, the master mind came prepared, the maker continuously improves the existing worm strain. And despite the $250,000.00 bounty for this cyber criminal, there are still no reports or even clues to the whereabouts of the havoc-wreaker.

To all those who are paranoid like me, consider reading this Yahoo Article, and download the recommended scanners. I personally have downloaded Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. I have heard a good review of this scanner, from a friend. As I am typing this entry, the scanner is running in the background, so I'll keep you guys updated whether my laptop has the worm or not.

I do hope there is no worm in my salad.


Gueco, L.B. (2009, April 01). Computer experts warn of april fool's day worm. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, A 24.

Yahoo! Tech. (2009). Last-minute conficker survival guide. Retrieved April 01, 2009, from Yahoo! Tech blogs. Website: http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/132464


I would like to thank Talitha for giving me an idea for this post's title :)

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