By David Ringstrom, CPA
It's only been a couple months since the Conficker virus completely dominated the media, yet there's been a deafening silence on this front since April 2. All of the hype would have had you believe that Conficker was set to wreak havoc on April 1, but that ominous Wednesday passed without incident, much like Y2K. However, this isn't to say that Conficker simply vanished, as innumerable computers are still infected by one of the five known variants of the virus.
Conficker exploits a vulnerability on Windows systems, and unlike many viruses, it's easy to determine if your computer has been affected:
- Your antivirus or security suite suddenly is unable to download updates
- You're unable to view one or more of the images on the Conficker Eye Chart
Guidance on removing Conficker and limiting your potential exposure is available from the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT). Do not rely on supposedly free Conficker removal tools unless provided by Microsoft or a major security vendor such as McAfee or Symantec.
Fortunately some folks are still tracking Conficker:
- Jim Giles of New Scientist magazine recently wrote an article titled The Inside Story of the Conficker Worm.
- The Conficker Working Group provides daily infection tracking numbers.
- Conficker is still being actively discussed on Twitter.
A previous version of this article first appeared on www.accountingweb.com .
David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link