MALWARE HISTORY

Conficker

Getting beyond the myth

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EPISODE
ONE

By far, Conficker (a.k.a. Downadup or Kido) was not the
cleverest e-threat ever, nor the most dangerous. It is though one of the most
intriguing well-written pieces of malware, with a great damaging potential and
an intricately smart manner of update.

Since its egression in late October 2008, rumors and
scientific data mingled into a cornucopia of facts, while mass-media enjoyed
feeding their readers with terrifying figures and apocalyptic scenarios tattling
the death of the Internet as we know it on April Fool’s Day.

What damage did Conficker do?

The truth is that the worm by itself does not produce any
damage. As far as we know it, none of the five existing variants corrupt files
or steal data. Yet…

Conficker does more frightening things instead. These show
that the malware creators behind engineered it with a lot of craft and
succeeded in producing an illustrious heir for its precursors, namely Welchia,
Blaster, Sobig, Sasser and Storm.

First and foremost, Conficker’s purpose is to spread and
compromise as many machines as possible. It achieved this goal using a vulnerability
in Microsoft

About the author

Răzvan LIVINTZ

With a humanities passion and background (BA and MA in Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest) - complemented by an avid interest for the IT world and its stunning evolution, I joined in the autumn of 2003 the chief editors' team from Niculescu Publishing House, as IT&C Chief Editor, where (among many other things) I coordinated the Romanian version of the well-known SAMS Teach Yourself in 24 Hours series. In 2005 I accepted two new challenges and became Junior Lecturer at the Faculty of Letters (to quote U2 - "A Sort of Homecoming") and Lead Technical Writer at BluePhoenix Solutions.

After leaving from BluePhoenix in 2008, I rediscovered "all that technical jazz" with the E-Threat Analysis and Communication Team at BitDefender, the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Here I produce a wide range of IT&C security-related content, from malware, spam and phishing alerts to technical whitepapers and press releases. Every now and then, I enjoy scrutinizing the convolutions of e-criminals' "not-so-beautiful mind" and, in counterpart, the new defensive trends throughout posts on www.hotforsecurity.com.

Balancing the keen and until late in night (please read "early morning") reading (fiction and comparative literature studies mostly) with Internet "addiction", the genuine zeal for my bright and fervid students with the craze for the latest discoveries in science and technology, I also enjoy taking not very usual pictures (I'm not a pro, but if you want to see the world through my lenses, here are some samples http://martzipan.blogspot.com), messing around with DTP programs to put out some nifty book layouts and wacky t-shirts, roaming the world (I can hardly wait to come back in the Big Apple), and last but not least, driving my small Korean car throughout the intricacies of our metropolis's traffic.

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