April 1 is just around the corner and supposedly the dreaded Conficker/Downadup computer worm is set to receive new instructions on that day. The media is just starting to pay attention to this in its usual hyped up way about something that could prove to be the NEXT BIG THING. The Conficker/Downadup worm is supposedly residing on anywhere between 9 and 15 million computers just sitting there waiting for instructions. According to most sources, the worm will take new steps to protect itself and may keep your computer from receiving future security updates.
I’m not trying to downplay or make light of this at all. We all know malware can be no fun and harmful to our computing lives. Apparently the US Government is getting serious about this and tonight we’re seeing reports that the Department of Homeland Security is releasing a free tool for government agencies, commercial vendors, state and local governments, and critical infrastructure owners and operators. From what I can tell the free tool is not available to the general public.
The DHS article mentions installing a Microsoft Security Patch (MS08-067) that should be installed. This security patch has been available since October of 2008 and if you’re running Windows Update should have come down and been installed as a Security Update numbered KB958644 in October. (You can check this by going to Windows Update and reviewing your update history.)
If you’re looking for more info or free tools to check and/or remove the malware you can check them out below: