SOURCE: BitDefender


December 08, 2009 09:35 ET

BitDefender Releases 'Conficker - One Year After' Whitepaper

'Conficker - One Year After' Details How the Conficker Worm Has Spread Since 2008 and How It Could Become a Bigger Threat in 2010

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA--(Marketwire - December 8, 2009) - BitDefender, an award-winning provider of innovative anti-malware security solutions announced today the release of 'Conficker - One Year After,' a whitepaper detailing the Conficker worm's first appearance in November 2008, the damage it has done, and predictions on how it will spread in 2010. Conficker is a well-written piece of malware that has the potential to cause a lot of damage with the intelligent manner in which it updates itself. BitDefender's 'Conficker - One Year After' whitepaper also provides tips on how readers can keep their systems protected from the worm.

Conficker (a.k.a. Downadup or Kido) is a network worm that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in Microsoft® Windows® in order to spread. Its main purpose is to compromise as many machines as possible by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows RPC Server Service, described in the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067. The vulnerability allows a cybercriminal to remotely execute code onto an unprotected machine.

Since its inception, there have been numerous variants of the Conficker worm. Some variants use the exploitation of the Autorun function for removable drives and media (such as USB portable storage devices) to spread, while others take advantage of weak passwords to infiltrate networks. Another variant disables Microsoft Windows Update and blocks access to the majority of internet security vendor Web sites, which means users cannot access automatic or manual security updates.

Although Microsoft offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to the identities of the cybercriminals behind Conficker, the worm continues to wreak havoc. BitDefender researchers predict that Conficker will become an even bigger threat in 2010 by:

--  The corruption of defensive systems - Conficker will completely
    neutralize defensive systems and will leave dangerous security internet
    breaches on user networks
--  Distributed denial of service - By paralyzing computers over the
    Internet, Conficker will prevent the access to particular Web sites for
    extended periods of time
--  Pay-per-click system abuse and fraud - Conficker will be used to visit
    specific Web sites and will automatically "click" on advertisement banners
    with the intent of obtaining information for financial gain
--  Key logging, traffic monitoring and mass identity theft - Conficker,
    like many botnets, will be programmed to monitor keyboard activity and
    collect keystrokes to gain access to users' personal information
--  Spamming - Conficker will harvest e-mail addresses, which will be used
    to send a massive amounts of spam messages to other computers

To access BitDefender's 'Conficker - One Year After' whitepaper, please click here.

To listen to the 'Conficker - One Year After' podcast featuring BitDefender's Catalin Cosoi, please click here.

Cosoi provides listeners with tips for keeping their systems protected from Conficker and other malware threats. Cosoi's tips include:

--  Check with your operating system provider on a regular basis -
    download and install the latest security updates, malware removal tools, as
    well as other patches or fixes
--  Update your antimalware, firewall and spam filter as frequent as
    possible, with the latest virus definitions and suspicious
    applications/files signatures
--  Install and activate a reliable password protected antimalware,
    firewall, spam filter and parental control solution
--  Scan your system frequently
--  Stay informed about e-threats and security breaches

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About BitDefender®

BitDefender is the creator of one of the industry's fastest and most effective lines of internationally certified security software. Since its inception in 2001, BitDefender has continued to raise the bar and set new standards in proactive threat prevention, emerging as the industry's anti-malware innovator. Every day, BitDefender protects tens of millions of home and corporate users across the globe -- giving them the peace of mind of knowing that their digital experiences will be secure. BitDefender solutions are distributed by a global network of value-added distribution and reseller partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. More information about BitDefender and its products are available at the company's security solutions press room. Additionally, BitDefender's provides background and the latest updates on security threats helping users stay informed in the everyday battle against malware.