April is the Cruellest Month*

This time last year I was on my way to Cambridge to deliver a presentation, having stayed up till the early hours of the morning to post a blog reporting that Conficker, although it had changed its behaviour, as we already knew it would, had not initiated the heat death of the Internet. 

What's really depressing, though, is that Conficker is still present on millions of machines: in fact, over ten percent of the detections reported by our Threatsense.Net® malware reporting mechanism in March were accounted for by Conficker, as our upcoming monthly threat trends report will indicate.

This year things are a bit calmer, apparently, since security companies, among other sites, are back to posting the customary April 1st hoaxes. Since convention around the practice varies widely in different countries (not to mention the complications introduced by time zones), I won't spoil anyone's fun by naming particular pages (though there are a couple of Register posts that caused me to chuckle – it doesn't look as if the BBC are going to top 2008's flying penguins, though). 

I did wonder whether to offer a hoax of my own, though, having specialized in debunking hoaxes and chain letters since the early 90s, I wasn't sure if I was comfortable with that. (And I certainly won't be putting anything of the sort up at the chainmailcheck page.) Still, I played with one or two ideas, such as a description of a comparative test that was so absurd and so ineptly conducted that no-one in the whole world would believe its conclusions. But there's probably no such scenario.

Meanwhile, I have to go and work on a new software project. A Mac threat that even OS X users will believe in. (Just kidding. We don't really write all the malware.)

* TS Eliot, "The Wasteland"

Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence

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Author David Harley, ESET

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