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Conficker - A Potential Weapon in Cyber War

According to one of the founders of The Shadowserver Foundation, Andre DiMino, a botnet built to a size same as the Conficker could be used as a weapon to launch online assaults, reported mx logic on November 2, 2009.

Said security researchers, as a cyber war component, the DDoS outbreaks needed a network of bots that is sufficiently big to overwhelm security systems.

Said DiMino while commenting on such a network, it is definitely one that could be turned into a weapon. In fact, for a botnet with such a size, there would be no limit to attacks triggered by it, he added.

Meanwhile, according to reports, over the 12 months since Conficker was unleashed, security researchers seem to have traced the malevolent virus' infection in almost 7 Million computers.

However, the Internet security researchers at the Conficker Working Group indicated that it's quite impossible to determine what precise number of systems infested by the worm.

Expressing his comments on the issue, Director of the Conficker Working Group, Rodney Joffe said that the Conficker's strength has far exceeded the possibilities of it getting defeated, and businesses simply couldn't ignore it. ComputerWeekly.com reported this on November 2, 2009.

Joffe further said that Conficker is just perfectly equipped for launching attacks in case its perpetrators decide utilizing its accumulated network of bots or trading off its portions to other criminals as that attention has gone down. He suspected that if such a thing happens, then several businesses would bear consequences, especially enterprises in the UK that account for a substantial number of infected systems in the country.

Describing one such instance, the researchers stated how July 2009 DDoS attacks shutdown commercial, banking and government websites in South Korea and the US. Other websites like Facebook, Twitter and news sites too had been hit although in smaller magnitudes.

Moreover, in spite of the drop in Conficker's publicity, the worm has been surprisingly infecting even more computers as its current variants had advance programming to get them past security defenses. Furthermore, Conficker is so designed that even after its removal it re-infects the system, which enhances the threat to drastic levels.

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