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Conficker Virus Attacking on April Fool's Day

POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 6:32pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:58pm

Starting tomorrow, millions of people across the country could be facing problems from a computer virus. Our Lauren Unger sat down with a computer expert to fill us in. It’s called the Conficker Virus and some experts say it could pose problems for more than 10 million people whose computers are infected. Others say it could be mostly hype, but all of them advise it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Raymond Dennis runs his own medical transport business and his computer is his lifeline. “That’s how I receive all the information for my patients and I also do my medical billing through my computer.” So he tries to keep it safe from viruses. “Basically try and minimize what you put in your computer and only use what you need.” But now there’s a new threat out there, the Conficker Virus.

John Ballard is a computer expert with Tim’s Computers Inc. He says so far, the latest version is just hiding in hard drives, not causing any noticeable meltdowns but tomorrow that could change. “April 1st is labeled as D-Day because that’s the day he could put malicious software in the program he’s running.” That malicious software could be used by the creator in a number of ways. “Popups, viruses, anything he wants, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and personal information you throw on a computer he can probably get.”

It’s hard to detect the worm, but one way you tell if you have it is access to many security websites will be blocked. “It blacklists it, it will tell you page not found.” It’s a problem for computer owners, “You might just need another little cable back there.” Above and beyond the normal glitches.

Even experts who say the virus may be less of a threat urge people to keep their virus software updated and change passwords often. If you’re concerned, you can click here, which has advice on getting rid of the worm.

Click here for Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool and here for F-Secure removal utility.