By now you’ve probably heard about the Conficker (aka Downadup) virus that is supposed to start wreaking havoc some time after April 1st hits. It’s been on 60 Minutes and in the NY Times. What should you do to protect yourself?
First, take a deep breath.
54% of the infected computers are estimated to be in Russia or China. If you’re reading this your’re probably a client or potential client of ours which means, at the time of this writing at least, you most likely don’t live outside the US.
There are really only a couple of things you need to do to prepare for the possibility that you may be infected with this worm.
First, make sure Windows is completely updated and patched. If you are running automatic updates this should already be done, but it’s best to check anyway. If you’re unsure how, call us and we can do a quick remote appointment to check this for you.
(Many users have infected their Pcs by connecting USB flash drives that were infected. This was possible due to a flaw in Windows’ “autorun” feature that caused autorun to “run” even when it was supposed to be disabled. If your Windows updates are up to date, this flaw was fixed in XP as of February of this year. It was fixed a long time ago in Vista. Don’t ask me about the politics of MS’ support decisions.)
Second, make sure your antivirus subscription is active and up to date.
Because Conficker is a worm that keeps evolving, regular virus software may not be able to remove it. If you do have the virus, on or after April 1st you may find it impossible to access certain security web sites. So, just to be safe, you may want to download one of the special removal tools from the Conficker Working Group web site before April 1st.