The Conficker Worm – What it Is, How to Know if You Have it, and How to Get Rid of It
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The Conficker worm or Conficker virus (also known as Downadup or W32/Downadup), which has been in the news a lot lately, is currently estimated to have infected more than 9 million Windows computers the world over, and continues to spread at an alarming rate. With a $250,000 bounty on its head offered by Microsoft, and set to activate on April 1st, nobody yet knows what the millions of PCs infected by the Conficker worm will be ordered to do, but it’s a sure bet that if and when it happens, it will be nasty. Fortunately there are ways to combat it and even some free Conficker removal tools.

The Conficker worm is so virulent that in a space of three days it tripled its footprint, going from 3million to more than 9million infected PCs.


So how do you know if your computer is infected with Conficker and, more importantly, what should you do if it is?

If you aren’t already running anti-virus (AV or A/V) software on your Windows PC – and keeping it upt to date – you should be, and that’s the first thing to do. All major providers of AV software have anti-Conficker capabilities.

These will both detect, and remove the Conficker worm.

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In addition, several security companies are offering free stand-alone anti-Conficker products.

These include F-Secure, Symantec and BitDefender (see below for links).

Finally, Microsoft has a full page dedicated to the Conficker Worm, including what it is, what it does, how to remove it and, above all, how to avoid getting it in the first place. It all starts with applying [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead].

 

Here are the links to the various free anti-Conficker products from F-Secure, BidDefender and Symantec:

F-Secure Conficker Worm (Downadup) Removal Tool
Symantec Conficker (Downadup) Worm Removal Tool
BitDefender Conficker (Downadup Worm) Removal Tool

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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6 thoughts on “The Conficker Worm – What it Is, How to Know if You Have it, and How to Get Rid of It
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  1. Conficker is sort of a bug, yes, but I happen to know who wrote it and why. when I copped the Con- bug I fought it with everything I knew, and I’ve been on PC’s since they were Commodore 64’s. I made it reveal itself after cornering the bug in a file I setup just for that vary reason. It reveled itself by force to be what I called the WER Virus. Which is widely known. But I went further and peeled off more layers to discover. Microsoft wrote the Conficker worm. Why?, cause they were sick and tired of hackers making key’s and permanently running Windows on as many machines as they wished. When you Bye Windows you don’t own it. Use it(reload it more then 3 to 5 times) and a popup appears in the bottom corner on the right. “You are using an unregistered version”. And if you don’t register it look out… if you use a hack key without bothering to re register your copy slowly your set will play up. till it eventually crashes Permanently.. Microsoft use the MD5 encryption built in to all set’s to become an attacker with a program they wrote- It’s called Conficker… I wrote to Microsoft claiming their reward, and never received an answer.. naturally. (The virus was to strong and infected registered set’s as well) And caused loss of life in France after some of the Computers in their Air-force became infected causing the Jet’s to crash!!. What would the French give to know it was Microsoft who wrote the virus??. Don’t forget I claim the Reward…

  2. Man, I’ve never gotten a virus. Ever.

    A reasonably computer-savvy and cautious person should really never get one, and catch it if they do.

  3. James — 3/24/2009 @ 10:23 am said “As long as people run these tools it should stop any serious outbreak.”

    But that’s the real trick isn’t it? These viruses count on people not bothering to have & run anti virus software or keeping it up to date. Its the lazy, irresponsible, ill informed and generally computer ignorant unwashed masses that allow these thing to get to infection numbers like 9 million and there by cause such havoc for the rest of us! Most of them will not care or even check until after they are infected and probably better than half will remain clueless as to their infection until informed by a third party.
    Even worse yet MOST of those people will not learn anything form the experience and will repeat it again & again to the detriment of the rest of us.

  4. Hi,

    Good article. Sophos’ Conficker removal tool can detect and remove all variants of the worm/virus.

    As long as people run these tools it should stop any serious outbreak.

    James

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