04.01.09

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Confirmed: Conficker Awakens

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Site News, Windows at 4:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bug warning

Summary: Boycott Novell goes offline as Conficker goes up

IT IS tempting to say that our one-hour downtime this morning was caused by a DDOS attack related to Conficker, but we don’t know this yet. In any event, while investigation continues (and hopefully this won’t recur), here are our latest Conficker picks. The current news confirms that it was no hoax.

Conficker: GNU/Linux’s way to mainstream

I personally hope that the Conficker/Downup/Downadup/Kido computer worm — that surfaced in October 2008 and targets the Microsoft Windows operating system, that activates on April 1st — shows Windows users just how insecure the Windows operating system is, and how slow Microsoft is to react to it, and “patch” it.

The Windows operating system has always been insecure — and I don’t mean as in self-esteem, although :b

Letter from a CIO: why Conficker won’t hurt our company

You know a virus is making it in the news when your network’s users start asking you about it (instead of the latest round of “good news virus” hoaxes.) It’s prudent for those in technical leadership roles to send out encouraging messages why nobody need panic. Here’s a template e-mail you can copy-and-paste, with versions for Windows, Linux and Mac infrastructures!

[...]

Dear all,

You may have heard about a super-virus which is being discussed in the mainstream media. Some have asked me about this and I appreciate their concern for the safety of our data and systems.

I’d like to take this opportunity to give assurance to everyone that Initech takes seriously the integrity and security of its information.

This is the reason why we use the Linux operating system exclusively, for our servers and desktop and laptop computers. It is impervious to this latest virus threat which, like every other one, affects inferior systems running Microsoft Windows.

This virus threat will not – and in fact can not – infect any of our computing devices and tomorrow will be business as usual.

Your home computers may not necessarily be so safe. Consequently, you might like to take this opportunity to consider installing Ubuntu Linux instead.

Have a great day!

Repeat after me: Conficker is a Windows virus

Why does the general media – and quite often the tech media too – avoid naming the culprit? Is it because they are afraid of offending Microsoft? Or is it plain ignorance?

If you leave Swiss cheese lying around your pantry, can you blame mice for wanting to creep in and eat it at night?

It’s raining free Conficker protection: get it now!

The dreaded Conficker worm is constantly in the news these days, with consumers and businesses worldwide now bracing themselves for another expected attack from the malicious worm predicted to sweep the Internet on April Fool’s Day tomorrow.

Scareware scammers latch onto Conficker hype

Scammers are taking advantage of the huge interest in the impending “activation” of the Conficker superworm by poisoning search engine results.

How will the April Fools’ computer worm affect you?

Conficker.c is a worm, a malicious program thought to have already infected between 5 million and 10 million computers.

Those infections haven’t spawned many symptoms, but on April 1 a master computer is scheduled to gain control of these zombie machines, said Don DeBolt, director of threat research for CA, a New York-based IT and software company.

Busted! Conficker’s tell-tale heart uncovered

Security experts have made a breakthrough in their five-month battle against the Conficker worm, with the discovery that the malware leaves a fingerprint on infected machines that is easy to detect using a variety of off-the-shelf network scanners.

53 Pages, 10 Months, 1295 Infected Hosts, 103 Countries, And They Still Can’t Say “Windows Malware” (related but not the same)

“Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries”– sounds promising, right? In the New York Times, no less, so it should be good. Well, no, I was rather disappointed at yet another security analysis that left out vital information– which operating systems and applications were vulnerable. If it were Linux or Mac do you think they would be so tight-lipped? Why is the Dalai Lama running Windows?

Counting down to Conficker

“No one knows who controls Conficker, so it could be controlled by terrorists,” he writes. “It could also be controlled by the kid who played Urkel on ‘Family Matters.’ ”

If our Web site becomes inaccessible due to load — as it did one hour ago — then the above should come to mind.

Novell umbrella

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10 Comments

  1. JohnD said,

    April 1, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Gravatar

    Maybe it was actually Dan working from behind his red curtain at Novell…..
    Sorry Dan it’s 4/1 and I couldn’t resist.
    For the record – I don’t think Dan had anything to do with the site issues this morning.
    Of course I did mention that it’s 4/1 – oh well.
    Hope everyone has a Confickr free day.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    In the IRC channel, I hear about people having sporadic issues with networks and services.

    Dan O'Brian Reply:

    JohnD: No offense taken ;-)

    I’m not sure why there’s got to be a conspiracy theory surrounding Conficker DDOSing this site, seems highly unlikely (especially considering all the times this site has gone down over the past month or two).

    JohnD Reply:

    I’m sorry I’m just in “that” kind of mood today.
    It really is Novell trying to insert patented code into the site via Conficker so they can then sue Roy et al for patent infringement.
    Oh btw Tom tom is in on it too now that they have settled with M$.
    I’ll post more later, my tin foil hat is slipping off and I think I hear black choppers coming for me.

  2. JohnD said,

    April 1, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Gravatar

    So far no calls, guess I’m doing my job.
    NOD32 everyone – it works.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “It’s definitely serious,” says Symantec’s Kevin Haley (via Boston Herald). A Google search for “conficker” brings back about 3,510,000 results.WPN

    Gentoo User Reply:

    Someone from Symantec says this is serious business and the number of Google hits? That definitely should take attention away from the fact that you’ve been calling this wrong for a month. Good job, I’m sold.

    Ian Reply:

    John,

    I’ve heard good things about NOD32 as well. We went with Sophos when it was time to re-up. We never considering Norton or Mcafee.

    Ian Reply:

    considering=considered

    JohnD Reply:

    I’ve hated McAfee since it started. Norton used to be my favorite but in recent years it’s become bloated and slow. And it doesn’t get rid of spyware worth a hoot.
    Nod32 is FAST. I can play COH with it running with little lag. Scan times are low and it does a great job of getting spyware in addition to viruses.
    Haven’t had a problem with it at any of my clients so far and I got a guy I team with to start using it as well – he too is impressed.

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