Worms Crawl In, Worms Crawl Out
As today is April 1st many people are not focused on April Fools so much as the Conficker Worm. I did a lot of research into this as my job deals with a lot of computers spread over a wide area. The media has hyped this worm up to more than it is I think. In fact I read our local paper last night that had an article about it. They had spoken to three IT people, two of them didn’t think it would be a big deal, while the third said they thought it would be a very big deal and people should be very wary. After reading that I looked at who these people were and what they did. The first two worked as IT professionals for larger companies, the third person who was worried about the worm owned his own computer repair store. I think it was more of a case of him trying to drum up business than a real issue.
So I did some further investigation and I found that Microsoft already put out a patch to protect against this vulnerability back in October 2008. This was the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067. So if you have run windows updates since October 2008 you should be safe. Of course a good antivirus and firewall are important too. I would recommend doing an update on your antivirus and even running a scan just to be sure. If you connect to the internet via a router at home then you have a firewall that will help with this as well.
What I expect to happen today is systems that are already infected by the Conficker Worm will try and connect back to their home base if you will. It will do some updating and most likely post false virus software messages, etc. Most people are not sure what all will happen, but if you are protected and not infected you should be ok. The thing to remember is that worms like this come out all the time, this one is more in the media spot light due to the fact it has a date associated with it.