The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has issued a security advisory on the Conficker Worm. This family of computer worms has infected thousands of computers world wide. The virus is set to activate itself on April 1st, 2009. The best way to prevent these types of infections is to run up to date antivirus software and to load the monthly software updates from Microsoft. If you think that your computer may be infected, follow these steps to determine if you need to take action:
Home users can apply a simple test for the presence of a Conficker/Downadup infection on their home computers. The presence of a Conficker/Downadup infection may be detected if a user is unable to surf to their security solution website or if they are unable to connect to the websites, by downloading detection/removal tools available free from those sites:
If a user is unable to reach any of these websites, it may indicate a Conficker/Downadup infection. The most recent variant of Conficker/Downadup interferes with queries for these sites, preventing a user from visiting them. If a Conficker/Downadup infection is suspected, the system or computer should be removed from the network or unplugged from the Internet – in the case for home users.
Microsoft has a full explanation of the Conficker Work here.
You can find information on how to remove any infection at the following links:
- Symantec: http://www.symantec.com/business/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2009-011316-0247-99
- Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/962007
- Microsoft PC Safety Hotline: 1-866-PCSAFETY
You can load the latest Microsoft Update patches from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.