In case you haven't heard the hundreds of news reports or from one of your techie friends (as I just did this weekend), there’s a computer virus going around that, from what I can gather, is really really bad.
So potentially harmful, in fact, that Microsoft has offered a $250,000 bounty on the heads of the jerks who created it, and who have already infected millions of computers.
The Conficker virus is set to activate on April 1st and, as if this already doesn't feel like Y2K all over again, no one knows what's going to happen.
Here's why this virus is so frightening. (I'll use direct quotes since I’m not too good with explaining computer stuff):
Conficker is the latest example of a type of malware called a botnet, which gives a cybercriminal control over an infected computer. The criminal can steal information stored on the computer or make it do things like send spam emails...
What sets Conficker apart is that it’s more sophisticated than any previous piece of malware. It uses a new form of cryptography, can be controlled by criminals in multiple ways, and updates itself.
...the bad guys haven’t done anything with the computers they control yet, which means they could do, well, anything.
"Perhaps in the best case, Conficker may be used as a sustained and profitable platform for massive Internet fraud and theft.
In the worst case, Conficker could be turned into a powerful offensive weapon for performing concerted information warfare attacks that could disrupt not just countries, but the Internet itself. (Globe and Mail)
But now some experts are saying there’s nothing to worry about...as long as you don't click on pop-ups and regularly do anti-virus and Windows updates. But even so, we won't really know until April 1st.
To make me even more paranoid until then, while looking all this up I also came across I site warning that searching “Conficker” could put your computer at a greater risk of getting it. Super...
But whether all this an April Fools’ prank or the real deal, I have to wonder why people create these viruses in the first place. Are they greedy? Lonely? Ingenious? Or some hideous combination of the three?
P.S. Virus-makers I may have insulted just now, please don't ruin my computer!
Hiawatha 1952 Ilmaiseksi Netistä
6 months ago