Security Experts - Conficker Trojan Still Going Strong

Security company 'Trend Micro' reports on its malware Blog that although Conficker might not be making news headlines any more, yet it is operating with full vigor.

The worm drew a lot of attention during the earlier months of 2009. This was partly because of its massive infection capacity, its use of advanced tactics and its receipt of extensive publicity. However, after the worm hadn't made its appearance on April Fools Day as expected, it almost looked as if it faded away from people's sight.

After a number of days, a new variant called DOWNAD emerged, but soon many people thought that it too had gone without creating a major threat.

Meanwhile, the latest estimates by the Conficker Working Group suggest that the top three DOWNAD versions affected more than 5 Million different IP addresses. Even while taking into consideration the disclaimer from the Group that 25-75% of systems were actually infected of the total 5 Million, 1.25 Million of infected computers is not something to overlook.

Conficker Working Group stated although the total number of IP addresses observed as contaminated by the earliest two variants of Conficker has bounced back a few, yet it has increased since May end 2009. Incidentally, on 31st May, that number was 3.7 Millions and on 29th June, it was 5.1 Millions.

According to the Trend Micro World Virus Tracking Center, the DOWNAD variants were discovered to infect nearly 790,000 computers during January-March 2009.

During April-June, 2009, the number increased to 1.9 Million. Clearly, DOWNAD didn't take to vanishing quietly, security researchers stated. On the contrary, though out of people's sight, DOWNAD engaged in doing something with all the computers it had infected; it built a botnet for itself.

Ultimately, security researchers stated in spite of collaboration against the creators of Conficker, the latter have managed to dodge and dupe to take over computers in households, universities and other academic institutions as well as government offices, building a strong and profitable network of compromised PCs commonly known as 'zombies.'

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