Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

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Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby darkspork » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:07 am UTC

This article demonstrates the threat of the Conficker worm, while this article harbors an opposing view. McAfee does not believe the worm is dangerous. The worm releases its payload today... on April Fool's day. Does anyone else think that this has been blown out of proportion? People write viruses for April Fool's day every fucking year so why should this year be any different? The 60 Minutes clip demonstrates the use of an advanced keylogger program, but fails to make it clear that conficker is not a keylogger. Nobody knows what the fuck it's for. It doesn't do anything.

P.S. When my grandmother heard the news report, she immediately called me on the phone and asked me to get the virus off her computer so she wouldn't get sick and have to go to the hospital. :shock:
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Sharlos » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:51 am UTC

Wait, when does the media not overreact?


But whatever is happening let us all hope that hilarity ensue.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby TZer0 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:36 am UTC

Maybe it is a virus that is groing to rickroll us all.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby el_loco_avs » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:12 am UTC

I wonder how they found out it'll do something today without also finding out *what*.

Also. any news about this yet?
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:14 am UTC

el_loco_avs wrote:I wonder how they found out it'll do something today without also finding out *what*.

Also. any news about this yet?


they found an instruction in the code for it to phone home for further instructions today.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby darkspork » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:18 am UTC

Belial wrote:
el_loco_avs wrote:I wonder how they found out it'll do something today without also finding out *what*.

Also. any news about this yet?


they found an instruction in the code for it to phone home for further instructions today.

That's why everyone is freaking out.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby psyck0 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:52 pm UTC

Symantic WOULD say not enough people have up-to-date security. Then again, symantic's programs are shit.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Moo » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:57 pm UTC

Belial wrote:they found an instruction in the code for it to phone home for further instructions today.
Conficker phone home!
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Jebobek » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:56 pm UTC

Is he phoning home or showing off his booger?
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Gunfingers » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:01 pm UTC

How do you phone home?

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby segmentation fault » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:02 pm UTC

if the media reacts to anything chances are its an overreaction (y2k, SARS, bird flu, etc)
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby darkspork » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:18 pm UTC

It's still done nothing...
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Xeio » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:18 pm UTC

Apparenly my campus network is banning infected computers from connecting. :shock: Glad I'm not infected.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Ghandi 2 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Just because it hasn't done anthing yet doesn't mean it won't do anything. I personally think it will be very entertaining to see what someone could do with a botnet of ten to fifteen million computers.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Conflicker » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:51 pm UTC

The Conficker worm is nothing to worry about. Move along.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby darkspork » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:32 pm UTC

Conflicker wrote:The Conficker worm is nothing to worry about. Move along.


I have the feeling the botnet is actually just a worldwide distributed computing effort to engineer a sentient AI...
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Dobblesworth » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:35 pm UTC

darkspork wrote:
Conflicker wrote:The Conficker worm is nothing to worry about. Move along.


I have the feeling the botnet is actually just a worldwide distributed computing effort to engineer a sentient AI...

Well, Terminator Salvation is due out in cinemas in a few months...

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Brooklynxman » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:53 pm UTC

Now see that is a virus someone should write, but AI has already been invented, havent you seen google? CADIE is here! :D
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:43 pm UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:
darkspork wrote:
Conflicker wrote:The Conficker worm is nothing to worry about. Move along.


I have the feeling the botnet is actually just a worldwide distributed computing effort to engineer a sentient AI...

Well, Terminator Salvation is due out in cinemas in a few months...

Heh, literal viral advertising. :D

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Jahoclave » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:26 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
Dobblesworth wrote:
darkspork wrote:
Conflicker wrote:The Conficker worm is nothing to worry about. Move along.


I have the feeling the botnet is actually just a worldwide distributed computing effort to engineer a sentient AI...

Well, Terminator Salvation is due out in cinemas in a few months...

Heh, literal viral advertising. :D

And awesome class action lawsuit!

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby darkspork » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

It seems that the virus has removed its ability to reproduce. This is either an elaborate prank or a proof-of-concept.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby peter-lebt » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

Here is a scientific in-depth analysis of what conficker (so far) has done and how it works:
http://iv.cs.uni-bonn.de/wg/cs/applicat ... conficker/
and
http://www.honeynet.org/papers/conficker

From this work the mechanism how the virus gets new instructions is very clear - and also is clear that it is nearly impossible to prevent the millions of conficker instances from downloading instructions.

Of course: Before seeing the "new instructions" you can't know what they will do ...
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby MrGee » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:45 pm UTC

I found it interesting how the main journalistic source in that second article was the google toolbar.

honestly, if someone wanted to perform an informational coup d'etat all they would have to do is get google and wikipedia.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Xeio » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 pm UTC

darkspork wrote:It seems that the virus has removed its ability to reproduce. This is either an elaborate prank or a proof-of-concept.
Or a bug in the virus... hehe.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby mar77i » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:32 pm UTC

Less that I, as a Linux user, always find it funny to hear about (windows-based) viruses and stuff, but I was quite astonished to find this story true.
I've just heard there was talking about that new computer virus and the date April 1st was mentioned.
Hey, I thought, that makes hell of a hoax for April Fool's Day. True, it *did* make the best April's Fools Hoax ever to me, because and down to the fact that it was not a hoax. I've read some of the information on wikipedia, and that article on Conficker is - hats off! This must be one hell of a virus, which really reminds me of my (few) corewars days.

Maybe the virus is from Pixar studios, who found a new (cheaper) way for a gigantic render farm to render their new films. Maybe windows users are the problem. Maybe they really should switch to LINUX, because it's better. To put it the way Torvalds had expressed it (on non-git-users):
If you don't use it you are ugly and stupid.


Where's that guy who coded it? I'd like to shake his hands... EPIC WIN!

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Belial » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:16 am UTC

You realize, of course, that if everyone switched to linux, all the viruses would be written for linux instead?

Tell me you realize that.

It's like lithuania bragging that they're so much better than america because they never get attacked by Al Qaeda. Sure, maybe they're more secure, but it's far more likely because they aren't worth the effort.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby invisibl » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:21 am UTC

Beenfollowing this pretty closely since we heard bout it.

Seems that there is more conflickering reports than accurate analysis thus far.

The below URL has some interesting info on the subject.

Still, If your system is patched nad you dont have it YET you should be sweet.

http://mtc.sri.com/Conficker/addendumC/index.html#sec-global-impact

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Jahoclave » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:35 am UTC

Belial wrote:You realize, of course, that if everyone switched to linux, all the viruses would be written for linux instead?

Tell me you realize that.

It's like lithuania bragging that they're so much better than america because they never get attacked by Al Qaeda. Sure, maybe they're more secure, but it's far more likely because they aren't worth the effort.

I don't know, Osama wants to destroy Somalia.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Mysidic » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:14 am UTC

Belial wrote:You realize, of course, that if everyone switched to linux, all the viruses would be written for linux instead?

Tell me you realize that.

It's like lithuania bragging that they're so much better than america because they never get attacked by Al Qaeda. Sure, maybe they're more secure, but it's far more likely because they aren't worth the effort.


Given that all one had to do was update a patch before the worm was released to keep yourself secure from dear conficker, this would likely have effected linux users equally if it had the same marketshare as windows. I'm still of the opinion though that a *nix with good defaults is a system is much more difficult to infect, no matter what the user.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby william » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:24 am UTC

Belial wrote:You realize, of course, that if everyone switched to linux, all the viruses would be written for linux instead?

Tell me you realize that.

It's like lithuania bragging that they're so much better than america because they never get attacked by Al Qaeda. Sure, maybe they're more secure, but it's far more likely because they aren't worth the effort.

That's about half the story. If it were the whole story, IIS exploits would be less common than Apache exploits, but they aren't.

(I actually don't use Linux right now because I'm not sure if I can install it onto the model of ThinkPad I use right now, and it's also not worth the effort since most of the major security benefits can be achieved by not running Internet Explorer, that being the #1 channel for worms.)
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Indon » Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:34 am UTC

Belial wrote:they found an instruction in the code for it to phone home for further instructions today.


It strikes me that you could largely neutralize such a virus by attacking/dispatching the location specified in the virus.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby SummerGlauFan » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:25 am UTC

I haven't heard about anything happening with it yet. However, I did laugh when my local news, at 6:00 today, said "The worm was supposed to have been activated on Wednesday, but nothing happened."

Of course, the most sure-fire way to not get viruses is
A. Don't open spam, and
B. this will be hard for a lot of folks, don't go visit pron sites.
Oh, and, partly, don't run IE, as has been mentioned.

You should be good.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby darkspork » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:19 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:I haven't heard about anything happening with it yet. However, I did laugh when my local news, at 6:00 today, said "The worm was supposed to have been activated on Wednesday, but nothing happened."

Of course, the most sure-fire way to not get viruses is
A. Don't open spam, and
B. this will be hard for a lot of folks, don't go visit pron sites.
Oh, and, partly, don't run IE, as has been mentioned.

You should be good.


Top 10 ways to get malware:

10) Windows Update
(90% of updates are untested, then immediately uploaded to millions of PCs. There's something wrong with that.)
9) Younger brother/sister* (Link epilepsy warning)
8)
These fucking annoying popup ads that my grandparents consistently fall for wrote:Your Computer is INFECTED!!!!!!
Online scan detected 1,421 VIRUSES on your computer.
Click to download FREE ANTIVIRUS 2009 software.**

7) Over 1,000 ANIMATED cursors ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
6) New mail!
From: Dan
Subject: STINKY CHEESE
5) Free Screensavers
4) Torrents
3) Filesharing (Torrents are slightly more secure, and several P2P applications have been malware themselves.)
2) Porn
1) Internet Explorer (Seriously, what FUCKING IDIOTS decided to put an internet browser in the KERNEL?)

*At the time of this post, Newgrounds is still attempting to comply with the Chinese government. You can just ignore it if you want.
** If you actually clicked on this link, you deserve the rickroll. You don't actually download shit because a pop-up told you, right?
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Xeio » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:21 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:A. Don't open spam, and
B. this will be hard for a lot of folks, don't go visit pron sites.
A. The attachmens are the bigger worry, and I'd be hard pressed never to open a spam message (though, a good program will at least block images untill you ok them).
B. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Also, similar to A, don't install random shit on any site, no matter what they tell you it is, unless you are absolutely sure that it's trustworthy (This is a bit out of the grasp of the everyday user though, they don't seem to understand that everyone on the internet is a stranger giving away candy, and that they are the little kid taking it.) Though, the anti-IE browser advice is probably a decent start.

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Arancaytar » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:24 am UTC

darkspork wrote:P.S. When my grandmother heard the news report, she immediately called me on the phone and asked me to get the virus off her computer so she wouldn't get sick and have to go to the hospital. :shock:


Did she read about Snow Crash? :P
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby Bluggo » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:44 am UTC

Belial wrote:You realize, of course, that if everyone switched to linux, all the viruses would be written for linux instead?

Tell me you realize that.

It's like lithuania bragging that they're so much better than america because they never get attacked by Al Qaeda. Sure, maybe they're more secure, but it's far more likely because they aren't worth the effort.

No, Linux really is safer than Windows, and it would be much more difficult to spread a virus on Linux machines.
Not impossible, maybe, but the Unix permission system was created with security in mind, and Linux being open source means that every found exploit would get fixed fairly quickly.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby el_loco_avs » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:27 am UTC

Belial wrote:You realize, of course, that if everyone switched to linux, all the viruses would be written for linux instead?

Tell me you realize that.

It's like lithuania bragging that they're so much better than america because they never get attacked by Al Qaeda. Sure, maybe they're more secure, but it's far more likely because they aren't worth the effort.


That's not completely true. Security-through-obscurity is partly true. But unix-based OS's are inherently more secure than the older windows versions due to how they work (ie, admin level login needed for any installing etc). MS is working on it though. iirc Vista was actually an (annoyingly implemented) step forward.


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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby mar77i » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:31 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You realize, of course, that if everyone switched to linux, all the viruses would be written for linux instead?

Tell me you realize that.


HAHA!

Ask anyone familiar with HOW LINUX WORKS.
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Linux-and-Open-Source/Linux-Secure-as-You-Want-It-to-Be/

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/186/1006186/torvalds-dubs-security-people

Do you know what security is?
http://xkcd.com/538/

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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:47 pm UTC

Easy there.

Realistically, it's just as easy - if not easier - to get something to run when a user logs in on Linux as on Windows. Now, getting something hooked into the system might be much harder, so removal might be an easier task. Not to mention system start-up.

Linux is, as one of your links put it, as secure as you want it to be. But the fact is, some of that crap OEM installs come loaded down with are automatic updates, firewalls, and antivirus. Desktop firewalls (not about the inbound traffic, but the outbound) and user-friendly antivirus (or antivirus on desktop systems at all) are still rare in the Linux world, so god help you if there is a Linux equivalent of Conficker or Storm.

Then again, who knows? A major infection vector for viruses is still users saying "Why yes UAC, I would very much like to let DIALER.EXE have Admin access", or somesuch. That would still be a problem for Linux if it was widespread.
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Re: Conficker worm: Malignant threat or media overreaction?

Postby mar77i » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:04 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Easy there.
Linux is, as one of your links put it, as secure as you want it to be. But the fact is, some of that crap OEM installs come loaded down with are automatic updates, firewalls, and antivirus. Desktop firewalls (not about the inbound traffic, but the outbound) and user-friendly antivirus (or antivirus on desktop systems at all) are still rare in the Linux world, so god help you if there is a Linux equivalent of Conficker or Storm.

Then again, who knows? A major infection vector for viruses is still users saying "Why yes UAC, I would very much like to let DIALER.EXE have Admin access", or somesuch. That would still be a problem for Linux if it was widespread.


Er... WTF? There was antivirus software for linux. In fact, on that kernel it was actually possible to do it. Fact is, the security was improved, so it doesn't work any more, and it was the LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED. How can you program antivirus software for systems with any viruses missing?

(edit) Okay, let me show you: On I'll download the "dialer.deb" and install it with sudo. Then I enter my own password to be able to install it without thinking about it. I might even download the dialer-source.tar.gz to look at the beautiful viral code... facepalm

A lot of what people don't understand about linux is that security holes don't need to be fixed with anti virus software, but with "security patches".
YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!
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Torvalds said the security people were acting like string theorists claiming that there was no other viable theory out there.
He added the discussion on security never got down to real numbers and is just "people wanking around with their opinions".


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