We’re living out the last hours of March 2009 and as April 1 draws closer, questions are mounting about the Conficker virus and what will happen once the clock ticks past midnight.
While we’re not exactly panicked (and many of you seem pretty chill about it too), the tech world is likening it to the fear surrounding the Y2K bug and experts are working flat out to try and discover a fix in time. While yesterday brought news of both the origin of the virus and a way to detect infected computers, the Department of Homeland Security late yesterday announced the launch of a DHS-developed detection tool that can be used by the federal government, commercial vendors, state and local governments, and critical infrastructure owners/operators to scan their networks for the malware.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that the tool has been made available to federal and state partners via the Government Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams Portal, and to private sector partners through the IT and Communications sector Information Sharing and Analysis Centers, adding that additional outreach to partners will continue in the coming days.
With all this talk of how to detect infected computers, people are wondering what they’re supposed to do if they actually manage to detect which, if any, computers in their network are infected. DHS says the system or computer should be removed from the network and home users should make sure they’re not hooked up to the internet. While these seems like an extreme (and kind of lame) way to prevent whatever it is we’re trying to prevent, it sure beats ponying up for some fake security software from the likes of conficker.org or other sites seeking to make money from people freaking out over the possibility of giant lasers, World War III or world domination at the hands of Catbert.