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So far so good, Conficker's still quiet

By Moushumi Chakrabarty     Apr 1, 2009 in Technology
The dreaded Conficker.c virus, set to attack the world’s computer systems today, has been activated but there has been no chaos so far, reports say.
Technology experts worldwide are keeping a close watch on the situation as April Fools Day draws to a close in the eastern hemisphere.
The worm started spreading last year, reports and was relatively simple in the beginning. But its creators decided to ramp up its profile by adding more updates and it soon morphed into a sophisticated version. Its ability to “shut down a computer’s defences” became more pronounced and raised fears of a Y2K-type threat to PCs all over the world. Conficker infects computers through its operating software Windows. Currently, as many as 10 million computers are infected by this malware.
This prompted Microsoft to issue a reward of $250,000 for the head of the worm’s creator. “Writing malicious software like this is a criminal act,” Cliff Evans, the security and privacy head for Microsoft, told The Times earlier. “We want to bring the perpetrators to justice.” Thus the Conficker Cabal was created to tackle the problem. Security experts are hoping that the publicity generated by the big reward amount would scare off the creators. They are still unsure of the purpose behind the worm.
Internet security and cybercrime is big business these days. According to computer security company Symantec, more than $5 million dollars of funds can be accessed through stealing of personal information and credit card information. McAfee, the antivirus maker reported a tripling of viruses on the web. The main object was to steal money.
The situation has prompted the US Justice department to issue a statement about the threat to millions of Americans. reports: "Skilled hackers are now capable of perpetrating large-scale data breaches that leave hundreds of thousands -- and in many cases tens of millions -- of individuals at risk of identity theft," said Rita Glavin, head of the Justice Department's criminal division.
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