The Conficker worm is "a nasty piece of work," said Dwight Silverman in the Houston Chronicle. "It's insidiously crafted to take control of an infected Windows PC"—and millions of Microsoft users could be affected. "What's unknown is what Conficker is designed to do"—and we're expected to find out on April Fool's Day.
"There's a lot of hype about this latest piece of malware," said Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in ZDNET, but the situation is likely far less dire than the antivirus companies that are using the April 1 trigger date to sell security fixes would have you believe. More than half of the infections appear to be in China, Brazil, Russia, India, and Argentina—so Americans have "dodged the bullet."
Still, there's no reason to chance it, said Bobbie Johnson in Britain's The Guardian. "The easiest way to conduct a quick check is to try and visit pages from antivirus companies Symantec and McAfee," which Conficker blocks. "If you can't get there, the chances are you've been infected," but you'll be okay if you download a removal program from a source you trust.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
Subscribe to the Week