After the Hype is Gone

We all have recently endured a week or so of extensive media hype about a worm called “Conficker”. Phrases such as “One of the worst viruses ever” and other such nonsense were tossed around like promises at a political rally, with about the same level of honesty and accuracy, perhaps even less.

Conficker was already live before April 1st. Conficker remains exactly as threatening today as it was on April 1st and every day before then. Conficker remains a small percentage of the number of threats you need to be concerned about.

To date, despite being one of the more widespread threats, Conficker has been less harmful than many other threats. The most damaging thing Conficker does is to disable security software and block access to security sites. This is something that many other threats do as well.

If April 1 was a date to worry about, then the problem has only gotten worse since then and you should be more concerned now than you were then.

Each day since then several new threats have appeared, they just haven’t captured the imagination of gossip rags like the New York Times and 60 minutes.

Problems such as phishing, identity theft, credit card fraud, spam, and extortion have not subsided. The Conficker worm has not gotten any less dangerous and still is not as dangerous as many other threats out there.

Don’t get complacent now that April 1 has come and gone. Conficker was the least of your legitimate worries. Antivirus is only a part of being secure. As much as you may hate to have to learn more about computer security, nothing but education is going to allow you to make the right decisions to be secure, so yeah, use security software, but become more savvy too.

As I have said before, is a great place to start. Next week you can check for a tip on how to keep track of your passwords. The article may go up on Monday, but I am guessing Tuesday.

As always, feel free to email me at for general security questions. I do not handle tech support there, but I am delighted to help with your general questions.

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author , ESET

  • I appreciate the information and advice you have given in this article.
    Best Regards, Ilan.

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