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FBI Criticizes Too Much Attention on Conficker

According to FBI on April 23, 2009, the mainstream media clamor, which resulted in software update of Conficker the computer virus, might have diverted people's attention from many other genuine security threats.

Giving his opinion regarding the issue, Assistant Director Shawn Henry of FBI's Cyber Division said, it is somewhat a hazard for the society if people concentrated on Conficker and regarded it as the only cyber threat. Henry was discussing this at the San Francisco-held RSA security conference and which PC Advisor published on April 24, 2009.

Henry stated a lot of vulnerabilities and threats exist in the wild, which are similar to Conficker. Thus, although the media helped in spreading awareness, Henry said, focusing people's interest on the aspect of Conficker alone, probably diverted their minds away from the general stream of threats that is similarly or even more severe than the Conficker worm itself.

State security researchers that albeit the exact size of the virus' network is not known, it is certain that the Conficker botnet contains a huge 4 million compromised systems.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of other dangers on the Web in addition to the less known botnets, targeted or spear phishing assaults, and counterfeit anti-virus software. State cyber security experts from FBI that people must be made aware of these additional dangers as well rather than just Conficker.

Meanwhile, elucidating on Conficker's popularity, security researcher Paul Ferguson with Trend Micro stated that the spread of the worm was partly through the exploitation of an earlier patched vulnerability in Windows. But, in case the entire clamor about Conficker helped in getting computers patched and anti-virus software updated, then it was doing something good, Ferguson added that PC Advisor reported.

Furthermore, the security specialists stated that the virus attracted immense attention since it represented the biggest computer virus infection in 6 years as well as since it could change the manner in which it received instructions online on a number of predetermined dates.

But, still Henry emphasized people should not think that Conficker is the only threat and assume that no other threat exists so everyone is safe.

Related article: FBI’s ICCC Annual Report Discusses Fraudulent and Non-Fraudulent Complaints

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