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Conficker Worm FAQ

Conficker worm FAQ

In response to increased media coverage regarding the Conficker worm, Computing and Communications has prepared the following mini-FAQ:

Q: What is the Conficker worm?

A: Conficker, aka downandup, is a computer worm capable of infecting Microsoft Windows PCs which are missing critical Microsoft Updates and lacking antivirus software. It can spread via both network connections and infected USB keys, and has been reported by some as having an as yet unknown payload that will execute April 1'st. In other words there is a concern that this “worm” plans to conduct some coordinated negative activity on April 1st.

Q: What precautions need I take against the Conficker worm?

A: The best protection against all Windows viruses, trojans, and worms - including currently known Conficker variants - is to ensure all Microsoft Updates are installed, and to run up-to-date antivirus software. Instructions for installing Microsoft Updates can be found at

http://www.microsoft.com/protect/computer/updates/mu.mspx

As installed by Computing and Communications, McAfee antivirus is configured to auto-update daily, however you can verify that your McAfee installation is up to date by taking the following steps:

Click “Start”

Click “All programs”

Click on “McAfee”

Click on “VirusScan Console”

Click on “MUNAutoupdate”

Click on Update Now

Instructions for keeping your antivirus up-to-date will vary by vendor. Users of other antivirus products are encouraged to visit their vendors' websites for details.

Q: That's it? Isn't this a more serious threat?

A: There's no question that Conficker is a highly pernicious worm that has infected millions of unprotected computers. The fact of the matter however, is Conficker is only one of *several hundred* new viruses, trojans, and worms released daily. Users with up-to-date antivirus and Microsoft Updates should fare OK, while those without are probably at greater risk from the several hundred thousand other pieces of malware already in the wild. This is not to make light of Conficker; rather, it is to stress that clients need to take appropriate security precautions every day, not just when some particular threat gets media attention.

Q: Where can I go for further information regarding the Conficker worm?

A: The Canadian Internet Registration Authority has posted a comprehensive FAQ

http://www.cira.ca/conficker-faq/

Clients with remaining concerns are as always encouraged to contact Computing and Communications' Help Center at 737-4595, help@mun.ca.

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