This is no joke. I’m not exaggerating. If you are not 100% certain that your computer is absolutely Conficker free you are making a very big mistake.
This is the third time I am writing about this worm because it remarkably scary.
For more background, you can read my initial posts:
Conficker is a worm that impacts Windows computers. It is a rather impressive program that is constantly evolving at the will of its creator(s). It can be contracted through a download or it can spread over networks. Some versions are capable of breaking simple passwords.
On April 1, 2009 Conficker will evolve once again. If you are infected be prepared to wake up to an April Fools Day gag that won’t be very funny.
No one but it’s creator(s) know what it will do, but I’m a “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” kind of guy. I recommend that you imagine Conficker is under this guy’s control:
It is possible that it will end up being a big April Fools joke from a guy like this:
… But it is foolish and dangerous to assume that Conficker is innocuous. The creator(s) of Conficker have built something very elaborate and will be in a heap of trouble if they are caught. The risks and effort involved do not suggest that they are playing a practical joke.
The Geek Whisperer’s three pronged call to action
This virus is stoppable. You can update your computers using Windows Updates and install a proper virus scan. Backup your data, and do whatever you can to make sure that your computer is virus free.
If you can’t do it yourself, call a friend.
No tech-savvy friends? Pay someone to do it.
Just make sure your computer is clean.
If you are infected, you can clean your machine with this tool.
If your computer refuses to run or install Windows Updates, you probably have a virus. If you think your computer is a cesspool of viruses and malware, just bite the bullet and reformat it before April 1.
Even if Conficker doesn’t do anything terrible, you are still doing yourself a favor by cleaning up your machine.
Spread the word to everyone you can. Email this post, don’t email this post, I don’t care. Just please warn everyone you can.
If you have the skills to remove this worm or secure a system from it I firmly believe that you have an obligation to help family and friends who do not have the skills to protect themselves. No one knows what will happen to infected machines as of April 1.
Always practice safe computing and in this instance, please help others do the same.