No April fools joke here – Conficker is for real

Have you heard of Conficker? It’s been hard to miss it in the news lately. From the New York Times to 60 Minutes, the virus du jour is making quite a name for itself.

The news is increasing daily because Conficker is on millions of computers, and it is set to accept “new instructions” on April 1st. No one knows what those new instructions may be, but in the world of botnets, instructions are not generally a good thing.

Conficker is primarily spread like many viruses, through email attachments. So of course you should make sure your antivirus is running the latest updates. Internet Storm Center also has a page of scan/removal tools available.

So what is DiscountASP.NET doing about this?

First, we performed a redundant scan of all of our systems, in both our hosting facility and in our offices, using a special scanner made to detect Conficker. Our data center and offices are clean.

Additionally, we use a wickedly effective (and very, very expensive) piece of hardware from 3Com called “Tipping Point.” It is a sophisticated intrusion detection system that stops suspect traffic before malicious packets can reach the servers. It stops literally millions of attempts to send malicious packets to our servers every day. [Note: as of 12/3/2011 we no longer use Tipping Point.]

We are working closely with Tipping Point to ensure that our intrusion prevention system has up-to-the-minute updates of the latest Conficker detection rules.

So…what exactly is going to happen on April 1st?

In all likelihood Conficker is going to attempt to send out email. Lots of it. So we may see an increase in email traffic that slows email service somewhat, depending on the severity of the attack. But again, no one knows for certain what Conficker is going to do. All we can do is be prepared, and urge you to protect your home and office computers as well.

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