Sunday, January 3, 2010

Conficker computer worm


Decades biggest hackers innovation were Bots, and the biggest among was Conficker. Conficker was predicted by mian stream press as the work that would destroy the internet. But though it did not destroy the internet it with packing state-of-the-art encryption, and sophisticated peer-to-peer update mechanism, Conficker tantalized security researchers and resisted attempts at eradication, inhabiting at its peak as many as 15 million unpatched Windows boxes, mostly in China and Brazil.
The Conficker worm is a  computer worm that can infect your computer and spread itself to other computers across a network automatically, without human interaction.Experts thought it’s the work of an organized team of coders, and there are hints that it originated in Ukraine. And like most of the hacking out of Eastern Europe, the software has a profit motive: It’s been seen sending spam, and serving victims a fake anti-virus product that offers to remove malware for $49.95. Dude. It used to be about the mayhem.
Here are some information that worth to stay safe from the Downadup worm. I found these information on Norton website and thought worth sharing.
The Conficker worm, sometimes called Downadup or Kido has managed to infect a large number of computers. Specifics are hard to come by, but some researchers estimate that millions of computers have been infected with this threat since January 2009.  If you are unable to reach your Security suite web site, you may be infected. In that case you will need to get to a computer that is not infected, download specialized Conficker removal tool and run it on the infected machine before installing new antivirus software. Symantec has a detailed technical analysis of the threat.

What does the Conficker worm do?

The Conficker worm has created secure infrastructure for cybercrime. The worm allows its creators to remotely install software on infected machines. What will that software do? We don’t know. Most likely the worm will be used to create a botnet that will be rented out to criminals who want to send SPAM, steal IDs and direct users to online scams and phishing sites.
The Conficker worm mostly spreads across networks. If it finds a vulnerable computer, it turns off the automatic backup service, deletes previous restore points, disables many security services, blocks access to a number of security web sites and opens infected machines to receive additional programs from the malware’s creator. The worm then tries to spread itself to other computers on the same network.

How does the worm infect a computer?

The Downadup worm tries to take advantage of a problem with Windows (a vulnerability) called MS08-067 to quietly install itself. Users who automatically receive updates from Microsoft are already protected from this. The worm also tries to spread by copying itself into shared folders on networks and by infecting USB devices such as memory sticks.

Who is at risk?

Users whose computers are not configured to receive patches and updates from Microsoft and who are not running an up to date antivirus product are most at risk. Users who do not have a genuine version of Windows from Microsoft are most at risk since pirated system usually cannot get Microsoft updates and patches.

What to do if you are infected

If you are reading this page, your computer is probably not infected with Conficker as the worm blocks access to most security web sites.
If you have a computer that is infected, you will need to use an uninfected computer to download a specialized Conficker removal tool from. The tool is available here:
Or, you can restore access to security web sites on an infected machine by taking the following steps:
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. In the Run box, type the following: cmd
  3. Click OK.
  4. Type the following and then press Enter. cd..
  5. Repeat the previous step until you get to the root level, or C:\>. Note that if your root drive is not C, the letter will be different.
  6. At C:\> type the following: net stop dnscache
  7. Press Enter. This disables the domain blocking feature of Conficker and you should now be able to reach security Web sites including ours. You should now be able to download the Conficker removal tool here.