The Worm that Wasn't

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The early bird catches the worm. April 1 came and when and everyone breathed a sigh of relief went the Conficker.C worm did not wreck havoc on the Internet as was feared.

In the days leading up to it, IT managers nationwide had expressed confidence that their staff had the ability to respond a to possible attack. Many staff members patched vulnerabilities that the worm exploited, and updated their anti-viruses and anti-malware software.

IT executives took this worm seriously because security experts had said that it was unusually well written and designed to counteract against security measures placed against it. Conficker.C is the third generation of a known Windows bug called Downadup. The worm hard codes itself to a computer and waits for a “Command and Control” server to tell it what to do. What that would be, it’s anyone’s guess. Estimates are that between 1 and 12 million PC world wide were infected.

Toralv Dirro, a security strategist at McAfee Inc.’s Avert Labs in Germany said that the worm did reach out and tried to contact it’s “Command and Control” servers, but none of them were issuing any commands or additional malware. So for now, we are safe. But let it be a reminder that updating your PC with the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software and definitions should not be taken for granted. Wait too long and, the next time, the worm just might have the bird for breakfast!