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Conficker continues to evolve and dominate among e-threats

Akamai, the provider of Web services issued its most recent "State of the Internet Report" on July 9, 2009, discussing several topics like broadband speeds, broadband penetration, and security, amidst others.

States the report that during January-March 2009 i.e. Q1-2009, most online attacks originated from the Conficker botnet.

Also, the ten portals receiving the largest traffic experienced approximately 90% of the entire Web traffic geared for attack, with over 66% of that possibly involving the Conficker virus.

Notably, Conficker also called Kido and Downup, which first emerged during late 2008, disseminated all over the web during 2009. Actually, various versions of the virus have been observed ever since its creators developed the malware with increasing sophistication. A few of these are A, B, C, D, E, A++ and B++ to mention some.

Says Akamai that by the time March 2009 came, the Conficker had already received media hype as security researchers pointed out that a large number of the contaminated systems were made to connect with a command-and-control server on Fool's Day i.e. April 1, 2009. In general people thought that a particular variant, Conficker.C would produce at least 50,000 URLs each day.

However, no large-scale attack took place. Despite that Conficker became highly infamous among both household computer users and IT professionals, researchers at Akamai say.

Understandably, with Conficker once more occupying the highest rank on the monthly e-threat list of ESET, the security firm said that computer users continued to ignore fundamental security measures like disabling Autorun and using timely patch to defend themselves from an attack. For this reason, ESET advised users to maintain their systems up-to-date with regular patches, turn off Autorun, and avoid using shared folders that are not protected.

In truth, as the virus yet again re-appears and occupies the top position, security researchers believe that the worm is evolving but gradually as its authors seem to be buying time to determine the most optimum method for its use in income generation.

However, based on its latest behavior, security researchers are convinced that Conficker represents a long lasting project for income generation, the experts suggest.

Related article: Conviction of First Felony Spam in Virginia Upheld

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