The Latest World Wide Computer Virus

January 23, 2009 9:09:59 PM PST
A virus has infected millions of computers world-wide possibly trying to steal valuable information.Melaney Shaun of Fresno is getting new memory installed in her computer and checking for viruses. "Some were called Trojan horses. I've had worms, I've had whatever?" she said.

The new virus "Conficker" has already spread, by some estimates, to nearly 9 million computers world wide and has Shaun second guessing her current software protection. "It's interesting when you can open files and you get a little piece of information here and a little piece of information here, a little, they all seem innocent but when you put them all together all of a sudden you have too much information," said Shaun.

That means personal information like social security numbers, bank accounts and credit cards.

Self-described 'computer geek' Jay Petersen said: "This type of infection is not new."

Petersen said 'Conficker' exploits Microsoft computers by stealing passwords via email, internet connection or by removable media devices like sub memory sticks.

"Have we seen it in Fresno? Are people coming in with it? 'Oh holy smokes. I don't know what to do?' 'I have this virus!' No, that's not happening and it's not designed to work that way.

Peterson said the virus is dormant --hanging out in the background-- just waiting for the programmer to activate it. Until then no one knows who originated it and what it is designed to do.

Peterson says the best defense against conficker is downloading computer updates, installing security software and changing passwords frequently.

Advice Shaun said is necessary but can be a pain. "It's non sense. It's like people doing graffiti or something. Why? It just makes more work for somebody else," she said.

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