The Conficker worm is back, said Tony Bradley in About.com. Two weeks ago, computer security experts warned that the evil malware known as Conficker was going to cripple the Internet on April 1, but “nothing really happened.” Now it appears that Conficker is delivering a new component to infected PCs—and there are millions of them—that will allow hackers to steal “sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and more.”
So, Conficker is no longer simply sitting quietly on infected computers hunting for more vulnerable computers to attack, said Erika Smith in the Indianapolis Star. But don’t panic. The worm exploits a hole in the Windows operating system that was patched in October, so you can download the fix to protect yourself. But the first step is checking out the Conficker Eye Chart, which can tell you if you’re computer is already infected.
Security companies have reported that computers sick with Conficker are being updated with a “scareware” program, said Brian Krebs in The Washington Post, which uses phony security alerts to frighten people into buying “bogus computer security software.” So the mystery about Conficker’s purpose is gone—it’s just another attempt by hackers to make money, and its authors are apparently starting to put it to work.