Conficker Worm: D-Day

Apr 1, 2009 12:16pm

This, being April 1, is the day the Conficker computer worm was supposed to seek whatever instructions it was supposed to get from its author, somewhere out there on the Internet.  Security firms — and every technology reporter on the planet, it seems — are on the lookout. My favorite version is from Brian Krebs, who writes the "Security Fix" blog for the Washington Post.  Simply because his headline is "Conficker Worm Strike Reports Start Rolling In," he’s getting a lot of hits.  Read it HERE. He reports…Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, briefly went to Defcon 3…an ATM in Reykjavik began spewing 100-Krona notes…Big Ben in London stopped at 11:59 p.m….and…and — you absolutely HAVE to read the note he has in italics at the bottom of his post. Most of the other, more serious, stories so far are like THIS: "Conficker Worm Reaches Go Time, to No Effect."  Or THIS: "Conficker Worm Is Much Ado About Nothing." David Coursey of PC World, a content partner of ours, writes, "The Conficker Worm is like the Paris Hilton of computer security: Famous solely for being famous. Neither has actually ever done anything of note. But, at least Paris has a sense of humor about her celebrity. Conficker just wastes people’s time." But it’s worth pointing out that most stories today on Conficker’s effects are pretty short, even though most of the world’s time zones have already rolled over to April 1.  The Internet, being a network of networks, is by definition diffuse, so, while news travels fast, realization of it may not get out there very fast. We have plenty of calls out, and if we hear something, we’ll pass it on.  But an awful lot of security people have told us in the last week that even if the worm does successfully get its mystery instructions, they may not even tell it to do anything today. ==================== Update, 6:30 p.m. EDT: The Justice Department and Symantec say they have not heard of any major problems that can be attributed to Conficker.  Register.com, a major website-hosting service, has been down for a few hours; a spokesperson there says they’re aware of the problem and expect to be back online soon, but they can’t say whether Conficker is involved.

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