China Implicated Over Conficker Virus

Dennis Faas's picture

China is receiving a double dose of blame for the Conficker virus, as reports suggest that the country may either be the source of the virus, the reason why it spread so quickly, or both. The Conficker virus is due to update itself on Wednesday.

China has already been in the news recently for security issues. It's been blamed for a widespread network of spy computers which have allegedly infected computers including those of the Dalai Lama.

Origins may reach as far back as 2001

Vietnamese security firm BKIS says it has analyzed Conficker's coding and believes there are some unmistakable similarities to a 2001 virus named Nimda ('admin' spelt backwards). At the time, Nimda was unusual because it could spread itself through a wide variety of methods. (Source:

Having been discovered a week after the World Trade Center attacks, Nimda was initially linked to Al Qaeda terrorism, but this was soon dismissed. Instead, BKIS security researchers said Nimda may have come from China.

Not everyone agrees with the BKIS theory, however. A University of Calgary computer expert believes that the original vulnerability in Windows was likely discovered in China, even if somebody from another country then developed the virus to exploit it. (Source:

Piracy Made Things Worse

There have also been complaints that the virus was able to spread much quicker because of the widespread piracy of Windows in countries such as China. Because pirated copies usually don't connect to the Windows Update service, such machines do not receive Microsoft's security patches.

None of this is to say China as a nation has been the Conficker villain. The security community says the virus has actually forced countries including China to work more closely together in finding a solution. That's because Conficker issues instructions through randomly chosen domain names, including many in China. Authorities there have cooperated with other nations in attempts to block the virus and its makers. (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet