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EV_Ares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:15 PM
Original message
Conficker worm infects more than a million PCs
The $250,000 bounty Microsoft has put up for information on of the controllers of the globe-spanning Conficker worm seems about right. Conficker has now infected the German military, along with networks in the British and French Air Forces and England's Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. After several weeks of informal collaborations, the world's top virus hunters have formed an official posse to hunt down these very slick bad guys.

At least one million PCs, perhaps as many as 10 million have been infected, says Eric Sites, a researcher at Sunbelt Software. (The numbers vary because security researchers differ on how to extrapolate some of the numbers intercepted from a counting mechanism thats part of the worm.) By comparison, the Storm worm that spread via viral spam messages in 2007 is believed to have peaked at about 1 million botted PCs.

Conficker thus far is a two-trick pony: it spreads itself, and then it prevents infected PCs from being cleaned up. Once implanted, the worm searches out nearby servers and executes a brute force password breaking program. It also spreads itself to any shared hard drives.

Whats more, it makes a copy of itself on any device plugged into a USB port, such as any thumb drives, music players, or digital cameras. When that infected device is later plugged into another PC, it infects that machine, which then begins to similarly spread more infections. This is reportedly how the French Navy got infected.

What makes Conficker so unnerving is that at least once a day, each infected machine tries to connect sequentially with a list of 250 Internet domains for further instructions. Each day this list of 250 domains -- each one a potential command and control server -- changes. Tech vendors have figured out the simple algorithm the bad guys are using to derive this daily list. Kaspersky, F-Secure, Secureworks and Sophos have begun registering some domains to cut off the bad guys from sending instructions via those domains.

rest of the article @ link: http://blogs.usatoday.com/technologylive/2009/02/the-25...
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Buy a Mac or run Linux.
Viruses are so rare for either system you will wonder why anyone buys a pc again.

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. A one-time fan of Vista, I installed Fedora 10 on my setup and WO-effin-W! FAST!!!
Edited on Mon Feb-16-09 09:30 PM by Deja Q
I've got a WinXP virtual machine to run my Windows apps, and maybe down the road (after I get back into college and get a student discount and sell off my PC hardware) I might get a Mac Pro, as my Adobe apps can be transferred and I prefer native performance over emulation when possible. Still, for now, emulated performance (virtualbox) is rather amazing...

I've MS to thank for all this too; recent customer "support" was disgraceful. Any other business telling a customer to buy the new version when it gets released instead of getting a patch to a problem that affects peoples' professionalism (long story but it's a common bug), I'm done with them. More people should be.

And Linux isn't as "tedious" as it used to be either.
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angrycarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. I could not make linux play video of any kind.
I loved it but without flashplayer video support I have no use for it. The workaround that technical support offered was overly technical and I could never get it to work. If I could have pulled it off I would have chunked my windows OS and never looked back. I am not a tech geek and I do not have the time to try to be one.
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remoulade Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. They are rare because the OSs are rare. That is the only reason.
Linux is fine stuff but it is enormously off-putting for non-geek computer users. It's as if (no, it's EXACTLY that) the people who embrace it deliberately keep all the ins and outs of it mysterious in order to preserve their stupid insider status. And that's completely understandable since people who work on and provide open-source software have no incentive to make it user friendly.\
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Also true. Except for making it user-friendly; that was so 1998. Things are different now.
Edited on Mon Feb-16-09 09:41 PM by Deja Q
Of course, the sad part is, the Commodore 64 (so 1985) sold extremely well and people knew how to use its command line interface without whining it was hard...


Edit: http://free.avg.com/download?prd=afl
They moved the Linux download link.

http://www.kaspersky.com/anti-virus_linux_workstation
(nice to see competition)
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remoulade Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I had the earlier one, the VIC-20. I used XDOS back in the mid 70s
on DG Eclipse minis with a whole 64k of core (actual ittybitty donut core) and wrote payroll software for a company with employees in 50 states and 50 union scale pay...and did all the tax w/h and FICA ..............in FORTRAN. After that stint, I tinkered with TRSDOS which was also better than MSDOS and later wrote a ton of stuff for PCs in C, mostly for bulletin board systems. I only mention this to point out I'm not exactly a tyro WRT computers and I find Linux to be at once a wonderful development and at the same time one that will never achieve any degree of popularity as long as its adherents treat it like an exclusive club.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Sorta right....
Edited on Mon Feb-16-09 09:49 PM by BlooInBloo
Clearly you've never used paint.net, rssbandit, or any number of stupidly user friendly tools, however.

EDIT: Or VLC, or or or...
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remoulade Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. No....what is paint.net?
:shrug:
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Or subversion, or tortoisesvn, or ultravnc...
Edited on Mon Feb-16-09 09:53 PM by BlooInBloo
The list of wonderfully easy to use open source tools is very long.

EDIT: Or songbird, or or or....
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remoulade Donating Member (131 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Well, that is precisely the point I was making. The Linux gurus will offer "advice"
Edited on Mon Feb-16-09 09:57 PM by remoulade
that leads nowhere, is completely arcane and mysterious and is obviously designed to make the questioner feel like a fucking idiot. That is what I hate about it. I have tried half a dozen different distributions and never found a single one that was in the least bit user-friendly. No matter how people hate Microsoft, they do at least make an effort to help people without insulting them.
edit: I can't fucking believe I wrote 'advise' instead of 'advice'
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Sure thing. 10,000 computers in corporate environment...
They'll have it done tomorrow morning. Not all computers are sitting in a persons home and there are more than a few that cannot afford to switch over. To say nothing of the learning curve of the non-techie.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. Gitmo or something like it would be too good for the
bastards who spend their days fucking up other people's computers.

Mine has a browser virus on Internet Explorer that won't let me view any websites. I had to go through the cache to download a more secure browser and so far so good, but my God, it's a pain in the ass.
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Agreed
The digital age sociopath.
They get glee out of f*cking up everyone else
Then pat themselves in the ass over how clever they are
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-09 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
10. These new trojans are getting sophisticated
I've just fought a battle with the virtumonde trojan and trust me, NO SINGLE PROGRAM OR METHOD fixes it totally. And the people who say they have "a sure fix" for the infections are fools.

Since one of my machines was infected 2 weeks ago, I've only just managed to get it under control in the last few days. And I'm STILL going to need a major reformat in the next week or so.

I'm no PC geek, but I've been using computers since the early '90s and I've NEVER seen a virus take over so many functions at once and actually ATTACK antivirus programs such as Ad-Aware.

At the moment, I've got 3 antivirus resident programs working for me - and they all catch different viruses at different times.
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