Alive and Well: Conficker Infecting 50k PCs Daily

Dennis Faas's picture

Although it's been quiet in recent weeks, the dreaded Conficker worm is far from done its reign of terror. In fact, never before has this virus caused so much havoc than when the news mediums stopped printing urgent warnings about its dangers.

Now, as the reports of countless victims come pouring in, security officials are getting a clear sense of just how many computers are infected on a daily basis. According to one security expert, Conficker infiltrates as many as 50,000 new PCs every day.

International Incident

What makes matters worse is that the virus has no specific target area, as all of the victims are dispersed throughout the world. Among the countries hit hardest by Conficker are the United States, Brazil and India. A total of 350,000 incident reports have been filed in these 3 countries alone. (Source:

The next three countries on the Conficker "hit list" are Mexico, Italy and China. These 3 countries comprise a total of 89,000 Conficker complaints to date.

April 1st Worm: Late Bloom

The virus itself was trouble right from the start back in November 2008. At this time, Conficker was expected to be launched on April 1, 2009 as a sick "April Fools" joke that proved to be more twisted than humorous.

A number of security officials attempted to calm the masses by informing them that Conficker was more likely to attack government, corporate, and educational targets than the average user. (Source:

When the dreaded day arrived and passed without the sky falling, many fell into a false "comfort zone". Now that the worm has begun to spread in secrecy, expect the number of new PC user attacks to grow.

Variants Impede Protection

It is increasingly difficult to protect against Conficker. One reason for this is that there is more than one variant (or version) of the virus. Variant C, for instance, resets the System Restore points and disables a number of system services such as Windows Automatic Update, Windows Security Center, and Windows Error Reporting.

Of course, to give yourself (and your computer) the best chance to counter a Conficker attack, officials are asking all PC owners to check for suspicious content and software on a routine basis.

Remember: just because the virus is taking a backseat to the other tech stories of the day, doesn't mean that the news is any less dire. With 50,000 new infections each day, the situation is expected to get a whole lot worse before any steps are taken to make it better.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet