Security against malware, worms, and viruses has never been as crucial as it is today. Although security measures are stronger now than ever, several particularly malicious and wide-spreading viruses have cropped up in the past few years. Two particularly notable viruses are the Conficker worm and the DNS Changer.
The Win32/Conficker worm first emerged in November 2008, and it spread by aggressively targeting a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system. Although the first version of this threat did not spread widely, the Conficker worm produced three more iterations since its debut, infecting an estimated seven million computers worldwide.
The newer versions of Conficker prove dangerous because of their ability to remotely execute code when file sharing is enabled on Windows XP-based systems. Conficker also disables crucial system services and security products once implemented, making it difficult to remove.
While Microsoft had already created a security update to address the weakness exploited by Conficker a month prior to the first outbreak, the worm succeeded in spreading and remains dangerous to unprotected systems.
It is strongly recommended that SMBs protect their systems against the Conficker Worm. To learn more, visit www.microsoft.com/conficker.
Another widespread virus that requires immediate action is the DNS Changer. Known to silently replace the Domain Name System (DNS) settings on computers it infects (PCs and Macs alike) to the addresses of malicious servers and routers, the DNS Changer directs its victims to malware serving sites whenever they attempt to visit popular websites, such as Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, etc. Some variants of the DNS Changer block access to anti-malware and operating system update sites, thus making the virus frustrating to uproot.
The DNS Changer virus became so widespread since its 2007 debut that the FBI shut down the servers spreading the virus. The FBI replaced the malicious servers with machines operated by Internet Systems Consortium, and will shut down the temporary servers on July 9, 2012. Any computers still infected by the DNS Changer virus or using the DNS servers it implements will not be able to browse the Internet after July 9; as such, it is imperative to make certain that your systems are clean.
For a step-by-step guide for purging your computers of the DNS Changer, visit http://www.techno-lovers.com/repair-computer-from-dns-changer-attack/.