After Oxford Brookes University was hit by the Conficker worm, claims have been made that the problem is only going to get worse.

Rodney Joffe, senior vice president and senior technologist of Neustar and a director of the Conficker Working Group, claimed that after the recent Ealing Council reports that it was hit by Conficker, the problem is going to continue, and get worse. He also pointed out that the problem is that most people who are infected do not know that they have it.

Joffe said: “What has no doubt happened now is that the students who got infected during this event have now taken their machines to hot spots, friends, back to their own homes, their apartment buildings where there is open WiFi, and most worryingly, to their part-time jobs. All which may now be sharing in the badness. All from one infected machine.”

Following a statement issued by Oxford Brookes that claimed that Sophos anti-virus software is available free of charge to Brookes' students and staff for personal use, Joffe said that he would have assumed that the university's servers were patched a long time ago, so this gives more credence to the fact that this is really tough to deal with.

Joffe said: “The most common reinfection point these days is via the use of thumb drives, or USB storage devices. However the spread occurs (in Conficker.C) via peer-to-peer protocol.

“One of the things to think of is that Conficker is more of a compromised network of machines rather than a set of machines infected by a worm, to be easily identified as being infected by anti-virus and remediated. That is the wrong way to look at it. It serves as the platform via which almost any other form of virus, Trojan, or malware can be easily distributed and inserted without fear of being intercepted by anti-virus - because Conficker effectively disables the complete anti-virus process.”