By Brian Prince
A year after Conficker sprang into the public consciousness, the
notorious Windows worm continues to claim millions of victims. While the
hype has died down, the worm remains an example of the dangers of
cutting-edge malware and how cooperation in the security community can
make the difference.
The Conficker worm struck Windows computers this past year with the
force of a tsunami and swept away illusions of security in the minds of
its victims. But after the overhyped April 1 deadline passed quietly,
interest in the general public started to dwindle, and the malware for
some became just another entry on an ever-growing list of cyber-threats.
The worm itself however did not disappear. Today, roughly a year after
its appearance, Conficker is still resting on millions of systems around
the world. From its innovation to its persistence, Conficker has emerged
as a stark example of the dangers of malware, poor patching practices
and what the security community can accomplish by working together.
"This certainly is one of the most sophisticated pieces of malware that
we've ever seen, and that's why the security industry continues to be
interested in it in spite of the fact that not a lot has happened over
the course of the past year," said Tom Cross, manager of IBM X-Force
Advanced Research. "Lots of people have said this is not interesting
anymore and stopped paying attention, but those of us who are
responsible for this stuff [are] still watching."
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