This is no joke.

According to David McAvoy at, there are some things you can do to protect your computer from this nasty intruder.

• Update anti-virus software
• Accept Windows security updates
• Don’t download screen savers
• Don’t download games

McAvoy has the following to say about this menace:

Digital Journalist/ WJHL
Published: March 25, 2009

The “Conficker” virus, which crippled the Kingsport City Schools computer system the last two weeks, reportedly has a new version set to launch on April 1, and that’s no April Fool’s joke. The virus has already infected about 15 million computers worldwide, and many people may not even know it’s on their computer yet.

Brian Tester with Tele-Optics in Kingsport says people need to protect their computers from these kinds of viruses. He says it can keep track of your credit card numbers, user names, and passwords. He says the best ways to protect your computer are to have updated anti-virus software, download windows security updates when available, and avoid downloading screen savers and games from the internet. He also says being smart about where you go on the internet is key to avoid being infected.

Microsoft has offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the hacker behind the Conficker virus, but Tester says that is a near-impossible task.“Even if they did (catch them),“ he says, “I don’t know the jurisdiction would reach, I about guarantee it’s from another country.“

For free downloads of anti-virus software, you can visit .

To get advice if you think your computer has become infected, you can contact Tele-Optics at 423-723-2255, or visit them at

There is a video on McAvoy’s website but I could not embed it. It is worth watching.

The Frugal Tech Show discusses the the 9 million PCs already infected.

9 Thoughts to “Beware of the Conficker Worm 4/1/09”

  1. Moon-howler

    I will be the first to post. I fought with a computer all day long today…my old desktop that Mr. Howler uses. It was slower than hell. Then the mouse function went out. I had to locate a wired mouse and I finally got it back to normal. Fortunately I had just put on some new updated anti spyware. One of them said hijacker and pups. Who knows. but my patience with computers is nil and I do NOT want to have to fool around with this new worm. I went to and typed in conficker and got the remover. I saved the exe. to my desktop just in case. Went around to all the computers and planted one on each desk top.

    Has anyone ever lost their mouse function? What did you do about it?

  2. Gainesville Resident

    Might need to reinstall the wireless mouse driver. You would have to go to the device drivers and uninstall it first, and then reinstall it.

  3. Moon-howler

    Thanks, Gainesville. I thought about that, bought a new wireless mouse and it didn’t have driver software. When did THAT start?

    Actually, it fixed itself once I put a wired mouse on there and ran some mal-ware. I think it was an uninvited guest lurking on my computer.

    Is there another way to do the driver thing, just in case it happens again?

    Question for you, if the conficker cleaner is up on download, can it even be accessed in the event of an attack? I put one cleaner on each desk top. I am paranoid after yesterday.

  4. Gainesville Resident

    I don’t know about that specific piece of cleaning software. Depending on the virus – the computer can be rendered such that you won’t be able to access the software.

    The best thing to do is update the virus def’s of your antivirus software – as the current ones should include def’s for this virus. Hopefully the antivirus software will catch it as it gets to the computer before any damage is done. Cleaning the virus after the computer is already infected is OK, but not as good as catching the virus and getting rid of it right as it hits the computer. A good antivirus program should do that.

    That’s odd about the new wireless mouse not coming with any driver software. I’d check the manufacturer’s website I guess.

  5. You Wish

    I was going to suggest the same thing – check the website and they should have a driver download.

    60 minutes just did a piece on the conflicker virus and it’s pretty scary – it could crash the internet if it goes as planned. They reported that most of these nasty viruses and worms are coming from (ready for this?) Russia. There are kids as young as 14 hacking into computers and running viruses/worms. Scary, scary stuff.

    I, for one, plan to clear my cache of ALL personal data (including passwords) tonight before midnight and not use anything password protected (like bank accounts) until I hear all is clear. I hate to be a doomsdayer, but better safe than sorry.

    On a personal note, MH – I’m sorry I was acting like an a$$ the past couple of days. I guess dealing with teenagers on a daily basis has started to take a toll on me. Luckily spring break starts on Friday!

  6. Moon-howler

    Teenagers can do it! Thanks for the apology.

    My husband also said that they were hailed as heroes because they stole thousands for unsuspecting westerners. How do we even deal with something when they aren’t even in this country (speaking of teenagers!)

    I am using 3 different virus protections. on 4 different computers. I guess we will see what works and what doesn’t.

    The users on the computer I had all the trouble with are not particularly responsible about running mal-ware so I had a real mess on there. They had whined about it being too slow.

  7. You Wish

    And I meant to say conficker, not conflicker. I don’t want the people at Flicker coming at me for slander or libel.

  8. You Wish

    Yep – 60 minutes said that the papers in Russia would write stories about how they duped “dumb Americans” out of money.It’s hard to fight back when their government and media support their efforts.

  9. Moon-howler

    Russian sure has gotten to be a bad world neighbor in recent years, hasn’t it? I have been calling it conflicker all day also.

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