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)

EU rejects 'three strikes' approach to filesharing


The EU has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a report that heavily criticises the ‘three-strikes’ law implemented in Frace that would kick filesharers off the internet after being caught downloading copyrighted content three times.

It’s been massively unpopular with everyone except the content industries, with ISPs in particular fighting against having to cut off their own customers. Greek MEP Stavros Lambrinidis fought back against the idea too, with his report being overwhelming voted in – 481 votes in favor, 25 against and 21 abstentions.

Whether or not this will force France to back down is yet to be seen. Sarkozy doesn’t have a great track record of obeying the EU parliament. Still, it should lessen the pressure on Irish ISPs who are being forced by their content industries to enact similar rules.

(via TorrentFreak)

Isle of Man gets free, legal, P2P downloads


Residents of the Isle of Man, take note. You may soon be able to download all the music you like, from wherever you want, but you’re going to have to pay a little extra on top of your broadband bill for it. The Manx government wants to enforce a blanket music consumption license, tied to broadband bills.

“At the end of the day, we are not going to stop piracy, so let’s embrace it,” says the remarkably sensible Inward Investment Minister, Ron Berry. Surprisingly, the BPI endorses the move as well, with head honcho Geoff Taylor saying: “If ISPs take the position advocated in the Isle of Man, we’d be in an enormously better position.”

95% of music downloads in 2008 were illegal, says IFPI


The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, is basically an international version of the RIAA and BPI, who claim to act as a trade body for record labels, but seem to only exist in reality to head up the music industry’s anti-piracy campaign. True to that role, last night it released a statement claiming that 95% of music downloads in 2008 were illegal.

However, there’s some bright news for the labels hidden in there too – download sales are up 25% on last year, and now make up a fifth of all recorded music sales. The IFPI reckons that it’s worth £2.5 billion.