CYBERSECURITY

Helpful hints on dealing with the worm du jour

The much-hyped April 1 attack of the Conficker/Downadup worm did not materialize, but that does not mean we should just ignore the worm. Although it has achieved a high profile and high penetration through its flexibility and doggedness, the worm is not invulnerable. It can be detected and removed.

First, it should not be a problem if you updated your network or standalone PC with the MS08-067 patch released by Microsoft in October 2008. If you are not sure, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team recommends visiting the Web site of your security vendor. “The most recent variant of Conficker/Downadup interferes with queries for these sites, preventing a user from visiting them,” US-CERT advises. “If an infection is suspected, the system or computer should be removed from the network or unplugged from the Internet — in the case for home users.”

Major vendors also have free detection and removal tools available for download, including:

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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