The Conficker worm is back, said Tony Bradley in About.com. Two weeks ago, computer security experts warned that the evil malware known as Conficker was going to cripple the Internet on April 1, but “nothing really happened.” Now it appears that Conficker is delivering a new component to infected PCs—and there are millions of them—that will allow hackers to steal “sensitive information such as user names, passwords, credit card numbers, and more.”
So, Conficker is no longer simply sitting quietly on infected computers hunting for more vulnerable computers to attack, said Erika Smith in the Indianapolis Star. But don’t panic. The worm exploits a hole in the Windows operating system that was patched in October, so you can download the fix to protect yourself. But the first step is checking out the Conficker Eye Chart, which can tell you if you’re computer is already infected.
Security companies have reported that computers sick with Conficker are being updated with a “scareware” program, said Brian Krebs in The Washington Post, which uses phony security alerts to frighten people into buying “bogus computer security software.” So the mystery about Conficker’s purpose is gone—it’s just another attempt by hackers to make money, and its authors are apparently starting to put it to work.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- 10 things you need to know today: October 24, 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Let us now praise Billy Joel
- Why the government should pay every American child an allowance
Subscribe to the Week