Conficker Watch: The worm awakens


The worm has turned. Conficker has awoken. It’s updating peer-to-peer and dropping in a mysterious load thought to be a keystroke logger. For the 3 to 12 million users thought to be infected, it would seem like a good time to stop using your bank accounts and start re-installing Windows.

The worm will contact sites like,,, and in order to check internet connectivity, drop the key logger.sys file behind a rootkit such that your anti-virus won’t be able to pick it up and then disappear with no further replication by 3rd May.

The .sys file will, of course, still be there and will still report back from the host computer to the rest of the botnet. All very pleasant stuff.

You can visit one of these two sites to see if your machine is infected.

(via CNET)

FEATURE: Modern Day Malware & Organised Crime


Quarter past nine on a Monday morning. I’m staring at the thick oak beam of long polished table wondering what the hell I’m doing at briefing about internet security. My last journalistic foray into this turgid corner of the tech world had me stuck talking anti-virus software with one of the chief marketing officers at a leading company. I recall a solid 40 minutes of the internet neighbourhood watch warnings as the canapes passed just out of reach behind his back. The hungrier I got the more it sapped my soul. My last conscious thought was “never again”. Never again; until today.

I’m not sure if it was the lure of the Soho House, the charm of the invitation or, more likely, the promise of breakfast but somehow, between them, they short-circuited that old memory in my brain; they silenced its voice. Down went that corner of my neural net; a localised blackout and now here I am in my trainers and jeans, most others with a collar at least. Quarter past nine on a Monday morning. Fifteen minutes before I’m usually at work.

Ed Gibson begins the day more upset than I am that his cooked breakfast hasn’t arrived but that’s probably where the similarity ends. Edward P Gibson is Microsoft’s chief security advisor and a former operative with the FBI. He takes comfortable control of the room of assembled journalists with the warmth and ease of his Midwest drawl. I wonder if that manner served him well at the FBI. I wonder if he’s enjoying his retirement, but by the end of the morning I’ll have changed my mind about how much rest he’s getting in his new profession…