Are you ready for Conficker?

Summary:So tomorrow is April 1st and the sky will be falling shortly. We all know that the 4 forms of the Conficker worm are out there, ready to do something tomorrow that will probably be a pain in the butt at best and seriously disruptive at worst.

So tomorrow is April 1st and the sky will be falling shortly. We all know that the 4 forms of the Conficker worm are out there, ready to do something tomorrow that will probably be a pain in the butt at best and seriously disruptive at worst.

Hopefully, for most of us in Ed Tech, this will be a non-issue. Any Windows computers patched after October 2008 should have the necessary tools to detect Conficker, most of us run more AV than the average home user and many sit behind a firewall with some sort of gateway anti-malware. A reasonable Mac and Linux presence in education doesn't hurt anything either, since these machines won't have a problem with the worm.

We do have a couple of vulnerabilities that many businesses don't, however. Too often, when it comes down to keeping aging computers and network equipment running, we overlook regular maintenance and patching, particularly on those computers that sit relatively hidden in classrooms or tucked into nooks by resourceful teachers.

Secondly, students and teachers bring laptops and portable drives back and forth from home (generally far less secure environments) very frequently and Conficker has been transmitted via USB drives. While some schools and universities have significant security in place around personal laptops, funding can certainly be an issue in getting comprehensive measures in place.

That being said, Microsoft has published quite a bit of help on Conficker. While I'm fairly confident that most of our systems will be OK, since the first sign of a Conficker infection may simply be an inability to access anti-malware updates, I figured I'd download the latest Malicious Software Removal Tools (that can handle Conficker) and have them sitting on my Mac just in case. Here are links to both the 64-bit and 32-bit removal tools:

64-bit download

32-bit download

Good luck and enjoy your April Fool's day. Feel free to talk back below with any problems you encounter.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Processors, Security

About

Christopher Dawson grew up in Seattle, back in the days of pre-antitrust Microsoft, coffeeshops owned by something other than Starbucks, and really loud, inarticulate music. He escaped to the right coast in the early 90's and received a degree in Information Systems from Johns Hopkins University. While there, he began a career in health a... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.