The rumoured Conficker attack on 1st April has been described as ‘no joke'.
Jose Nazario, manager of security research at Arbor Networks, claimed that it had been a ‘busy three weeks' in researching the next likely actions of the worm, which hit an estimated nine million computers at the beginning of the year.
Nazario said: “Many businesses have checked their security to make sure that they will be covered, the 1st April may be a hoax but to the best of our understanding it is not a joke and it appears that something will happen.
“Taking it seriously, if we took it as a joke we would be treating our customers and partners wrong, and it is our mission to make the internet a safer place. We know it is clearly at the whim of the attacker and it appears to be the same people, though we cannot say for sure. We do not know what the enemy will do.”
He further explained that with vendors and analysts working together across time zones on a Friday night, they were able to classify and determine what would happen and what strategy was needed against the C variant.
To combat any problems ahead of 1st April, Nazario claimed ‘it is now being moved by open file sharers and USB sticks, so it is now an anti-virus situation'.
He said: “The anti-virus can detect this so we recommend that your anti-virus is up to date. There are anti-virus tools which are freely available that can be run.”
Randy Abrams, director of technical education at ESET, said: “Conficker.C is a pretty nasty piece of malware. In addition to disabling the Windows security center and automatic updates, it is reported to prevent booting into safe mode and to delete system restore points. It has a few other nasty tricks up its sleeve too, like disabling lots of other security software.
“Before you hyperventilate over this one though, remember, there are thousands of other threats out there as well. If you are taking the right steps to keep your computer secure, then Conficker.C will be no riskier to you than the other threats you have not been getting infected with.”