You might have noticed that Conficker (Downadup) is actually standing up rather well to all the attention it’s receiving at the moment.
Heise (a European publisher sending out a weekly security newsletter that’s often worth a closer look) that 2.5 million PCs are already infected. In The Register, Dan Goodin reports that the total has increased dramatically since Heise’s initial report to nearly 9 million. (If anyone is interested in how these figures were arrived at, F-Secure have described the process here: it’s guesswork, but it looks like sound guesswork to me.
(Incidentally, I looked back at our ThreatSense.Net® statistics for December, and notice that Conficker had already made number 5 in our top ten detections of known malware worldwide by the end of that month, so we’re not exactly talking about a brand-new fast-burner!)
If you’ve read Randy’s earlier blog, you’ll know that while we take the present epidemic very seriously, there’s an argument for concentrating less on the alarming figures and attributing them to the supernatural powers of what has been described by some as a Superworm, and paying more attention to the fact that a fairly prosaic malicious program has managed to cause so much damage, simply because so many people and sites aren’t taking the elementary precautions that would have dramatically mitigated Conficker’s impact.
Randy’s also participated in a podcast with Ira Victor that ‘s available now: I haven’t looked at it yet, but I’m sure it will be of interest and provide reassurance and sound advice to anyone feeling down about downadup.
David Harley BA CISSP FBCS CITP
Director of Malware Intelligence
Author David Harley, ESET