MISCELLANEOUS

Conficker infections dropped for one day

Do New Year

Remember Conficker? The worm that attacks a lot of
organizations, from the UK Parliament to Waikato DHB network? The worm for
which Microsoft offers a $250,000 reward to find out the identities of the
cybercriminals behind it?

According to the Shadowserver
Foundation datasets
, about a million of unique IP addresses showing clear
signs of Conficker infection have suddenly vanished. This suddenly decreasing process
took place in the last day of December 2009. Although December, 29th,
there were 6.5 millions of infected computers, 2010, January, 1st, the
number dropped to 5.3 millions.

This event cannot be explained yet and more investigations have to take
place, but the “miracle” was just for one day. January, 2nd, the
number of infections jumped again to 5.6 million computers.

Although the number of infection decreased, Conficker remains a significant threat
for the IT environment, its main purpose being to compromise as many machines
as possible by exploiting vulnerability in Microsoft Windows RPC Server
Service, such as the Automatic Update, Security Center,
Windows Defender and Windows Error Reporting.

To avoid becoming a victim of Conficker, make sure
that you:

  • Check
    with your operating system provider on a regular basis – download
    and install the latest security updates, malware removal tools, as well as
    other patches or fixes
  • Update
    your antimalware, firewall and spam filter as frequent as possible, with
    the latest virus
    definitions and suspicious applications/files signatures
  • Scan
    your system frequently
  • Stay
    informed
    about e-threats and security breaches

More information about Conficker can be found here.

About the author

Sabina DATCU

Sabina Datcu, PhD has background training in Applied Informatics and Statistics, Biology and Foreign Languages and Literatures. In 2003 she obtained a master degree in Systems Ecology and in 2009 a PhD degree in Applied Informatics and Statistics.
Since 2001, she was involved in University of Bucharest's FP 5 and FP6 European projects, as researcher in Information and Knowledge Management field.

In 2009, she joined the E-Threat Analysis and Communication Team at BitDefender as technology writer and researcher, and started to write a wide range of IT&C security-related content, from malware, spam and phishing alerts to technical whitepapers and press releases.