Computer Virus WARNING

Some internet security experts say it is no April Fool's joke. No one knows for sure what will happen on Wednesday when as many as 15 million computers infected by the Conficker Virus stand by for new instructions from the worm's creators. One expert says it's better to be safe than sorry. Pat Hernandez has more.

It's believed that a third variation of the Conflicker super virus is set to spring to life on April first. The two previous versions of this virus, first detected last November, have given its unknown  creators total control over millions of personal computers worldwide. Anthony Mongeluzo is an expert in computer and network security.

"It starts out by either it being downloaded through a web, email chain, things like that, and then what happens is, if your computer's infected, and you're in, let's say a home or a corporate network,  the virus has the capability to spread. So, I could innocently be sitting and using my computer when someone else in my office get the virus, and then all of a sudden, my computer is now infected."

Hernandez: "And, what happens after that?"

Mongeluzo: "Right now, we do not know what's gonna happen. What we do know is the virus potentially gives the perpetrators, we'll call them, full access to your computer."

Conflicker initially infects a computer through a hole in the Windows operating system. A patch for this hole was released by Microsoft, but because it hasn't been applied everywhere, Mongeluzo says infections are still rampant. He recommends two things to protect yourself:

"First and foremost, go to your computer right now, and update your anti-virus. Most of the applications, you can double-click on it. There's a simple button where you could hit "update." The next you want to do after that is, click on your "start" button, and find out the Windows update site.  Go to the Windows update site, apply all of the critical patches."

While nobody knows what exactly Conficker will actually do, Mongeluzo says changing the date of your system or keeping your computer shut  on April 1st WILL NOT help avoid this worm. More information can be found at www.procomputerservice.com.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

image of Conflicker computer worm
Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...