Conficker strikes again on April 1

Conficker with no recorded activity

It may be another April 1 stunt, but security companies are already alerting users to check if their computers are infected with Conficker, which could attack again on April Fools’ Day.

The worm that will have infected more than 3 million PCs could «wake up» on April 1, with more intense activity in creating a gateway for hackers who can thus exploit infected computers to send spam, make attacks from Denial of Service and continue to spread viruses.

The Panda Security laboratory has already identified three variants of Conficker (A, B and C), registering an increase in the activity of this worm in the first months of the year. According to PandaLabs, the variant has a specific instruction hidden in its code to be executed on April 1 that will download an update, the content of which is still unknown.

Conficker.C creates a botnet that could be used for large-scale attacks, although some companies admit that the attack is not guaranteed to happen on April 1, as Sophos researchers say on the company’s blog. The researchers also point out that the proper functioning of the entire Internet infrastructure is essential for the network of hackers who exploit these botnets to continue their activity.

To protect themselves, users must install the security fixes provided by Microsoft, as Conficker exploits a bug fixed in October. It is also recommended to analyze the PC with anti virus software, and several free tools are available that identify and eliminate this worm.