Fast spreading Windows virus already compromised 9 million computers

Posted by AP Digital

Helsinki (Finland) - F-Secure's chief research officer, Nikko Hypponen, told AP Digital in a phone interview that there's currently a fast spreading computer virus moving through the U.S., Europe and Asia - already infecting as many as 9 million computers. According to F-Secure, it is migrating "more rapidly through corporate networks than anything seen in years."





So far, the virus itself is simply replicating itself and not doing anything to the infected PCs. According to Hypponen, "The gang behind this worm hasn't used it yet. But they could do anything they like with any of these machines at any time." The infected machines are completely compromised, meaning they could be programmed remotely to accomplish essentially any task.



Microsoft issued a security update this past Tuesday to address the bug, named the "Downadup" or "Conflicker" virus, which is the latest version of a similar virus which appeared as far back as October.



According to a Microsoft blog, "Over the last couple of weeks, a new variant of this worm has been affecting customers." Microsoft said the virus spreads by compromising one machine and then guessing at the passwords of other users on the same network. According to Microsoft, "If the password is weak, it may succeed."



The origin of the virus is still a mystery, though F-Secure's best guess is that it came from Ukraine due to the fact that it's internally coded to avoid computers in Ukraine - possibly to avoid attracting "local authorities" for the bug's authors.



See the original AP Digital article republished on Yahoo Tech.