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A most dangerous computer virus to strick on 1st of April

No, its not an April fools day build-up but a real big threat to thousands of computers around the globe.

A new sleeper virus that could allow hackers to steal financial and personal information has now spread to more than eight million computers already. Its said to be one of the most serious security threat that time has ever seen. Its Known as the 'Conficker/Downadup'.

It's so bad, Microsoft has a running $250,000 bounty for the author, dead or alive. An extraordinary behind-the-scenes struggle is taking place between computer security groups around the world and the brazen author of a malicious software program

What exactly is it and What does it do ?
Conficker, also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido, is a computer worm that surfaced in October 2008 and targets the Microsoft Windows operating system. Upon infection, the worm saves a copy of its DLL form to a random file name in the Windows system folder, then arranges to load thereafter itself at boot as a system service with a randomly-generated name.

The worm launches a brute force dictionary attack against stored administrator account passwords to help it spread through admins' shares.

How can I prevent it infecting my machine ?
The best way is to get the patch and install it company-wide. The second way is password security. Use long, difficult passwords -- particularly for administrators who cannot afford to be locked out of the machines they will have to fix.

If you are on a network or have a full-time connection to the Internet, such as a DSL or cable modem, disconnect the computer from the network and Internet. Disable or password-protect file sharing, or set the shared files to Read Only, before reconnecting the computers to the network or to the Internet. Because this worm spreads by using shared folders on networked computers.

Reference Links:
Protect yourself from the Conficker computer worm

Detailed Analysis of Conficker

W32.Downadup Removal Tool

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