Windows Virus Spreading Quickly


Posted January 20, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

A computer virus is spreading rapidly through Windows users' boxes all over the world. It's infected nearly 9 million machines so far in the U.S., Europe and Asia, but the bug hasn't done much -- yet.

Security company F-Secure has been tracking the malware for several weeks and says it is moving through corporate networks faster than anything they've seen in years. "The gang behind this worm haven't used it yet," F-Secure's chief research officer, Nikko Hypponen told the Associated Press. "But they could do anything they like with any of these machines at any time."

The "Downadup" or "Conficker" virus spreads by gaining access to a computer and then guessing at passwords of other users in the same network.  It also will infect removable devices like USB drives.  Businesses are most at risk for the worm, as home computers usually have firewalls that will stop the worm.

Microsoft has issued a fix for the problem, but infected machines will reject the patch -- so use this as a lesson in computer hygiene:  Update your system as soon as patches are released, and strengthen your password...or get a Mac!

I'm hoping that hackers who spread the worm plan to give out free candy to everyone with an infected system, but this is unlikely as it is a ridiculous idea. Have you had problems with viruses lately? Are you infected with Conficker?


Windows Virus Spreading Quickly


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