There is currently a major PC virus attack in progress, which is affecting millions of PC’s, and mostly is going unnoticed by home computer owners that do not follow PC security news, or run AV software. The virus is called Conflicker, and appeared in October 2008. All the major AV houses spotted it and informed customers so that they updated their software. However many PC’s are unprotected, then virus has until now been sitting quietly. But on 8th April 2009 the virus (which is really a trojan) started downloading something onto the computers that it has infested. At the moment we still do not know what conflicker is planning. Some people think that it could be planning a worldwide internet shutdown, or simply just planning to wipe out millions of Windows operating system installations. Only the Conflicker creators know what is going to happen.
It is downloading the software slowly to avoid suspician – this is a common trick adopted by virus creators, as they can now install large files onto PC’s over broadband without the owner noticing, especially if they “trickle” the download, meaning making it slower than the maximum bandwidth of the connection, so that users are not affected.
We do know that once the Conflicker virus is installed on a PC is makes on random website check (usually to MySpace, MSN, eBay, CNN or AOL) to check that the computer still has an internet connection. Once installed, the virus then deletes all evidence that a download took place. It is so well designed and encrypted that security experts are still unsure of what it is going to do. However, they do know that it is installing itself deep in the Windows operating system, which means that it could do some pretty serious damage, as well as steal any data it desires. If it includes keylogging software then it can gather all credit card and banking details, as well as all user names and passwords for websites, such as social networking sites, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay etc.
The problem is so serious that Microsoft are offering a reward of $250,000 (£172,000) to anyone that can inform them of who is behind the Conficker virus. Since it started circulating in October 2008 the Conficker worm has managed to infect millions of Windows computers. If anyone can help, then contact Microsoft direct. If you know who may be behind the attack, then contact your local police force, and you could be in for a nice little windfall!