January 20, 2009

Conficker virus still at large

The Conficker computer virus is still spreading after infecting millions of computers, a British technology security expert said.

Computers infected with the virus -- also called Downadup or Kido -- are hard to count, because we don't know how many machines are being cleaned, said F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.

The virus, which appears to have begun in October or November, has reached an estimated 9.5 million computers, the BBC reported.

Hypponen said the infections appear to be peaking, but the hackers have yet to unleash its full potential, which includes computers downloading Malware from the hacker's Web site and stealing personal information.

But they haven't done that yet, maybe they're scared. That's good news, Hypponen said.

Computer experts say users should install Microsoft's MS08-067 patch -- also known as KB958644 -- as a vaccine against the virus.

Most complaints about the virus come from corporations, one expert said.

In effect, that means Windows Update is working pretty well in homes, wrote Randy Abrams, director of technical education for ESET in a recent on line posting, The Tech Herald reported.