Conficker Worm Affecting over 3 Million Hosts Around The World

W32/Conficker worm or W32.Downadup Causing Havoc to Millions of hosts around the world today.

We received a tip from a reader about the W32/Conficker worm affecting about 3.5 million hosts worldwide. The tip came in from our reader Chad who first saw this report on McAfee's avertlabs and Zdnet's blogs.

Apparently the W32/Conficker worm or what some may call W32.Downadup, is currently spreading through a patched security update that was released last year. The security patch was needed to prevent an attack similar to what is happening now with the Conficker worm. The latest threat was discovered in part by F-Secure, a security firm, conducting an experiment monitoring domain registration algorithms. The results are absolutely stunning when you can say about 3.5 million hosts have been affected by this attack.

Microsoft, along with other major software companies, will release patches to their software at times with a new threat, either virus or other malware, presents itself as finding a vulnerability within the software application. With the recent Conficker worm attack it seems to have molded into a new variant that increases the worm's lifecycle where it is able to spread on a much broader scale. Reports have come in that this worm's creators have exploited it around the world in hopes that they can sell bogus software that claims to resolve or eliminate the threat of the Conficker worm infection. They even used an affiliate based network to launch a method for assembling a botnet.

Tips and Advice: Some of the attacks were reported to have spread through USB devices, network shares and even operating systems including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as reported by McAfee. We have said it was important to always keep your software up to date but from this attack it is apparent that you must also educate yourself and stay abreast of the latest threats the currently circulate over the internet.

Thanks to Chad for the tip!