The Conficker (or Downadup) virus would appear to be posing all sorts of problems for security experts.
According to the latest research, a combination of external storage devices and the Vista and Windows 7 operating systems may be responsible for the rapid increase in the number of infected machines.
Vista, and early pre-builds of Windows 7, would appear to be particularly susceptible due to the fact that they employ an ‘Autoplay’ function which automatically scans for programs when flash drives, usb sticks, etc are connected to the host system.
The virus has the ability to hijack that process, opening a new window and appearing as a folder to be opened.
As soon as it is clicked, the worm self- installs.
Once the conficker virus is running it will attempt to contact any one of a large number of web servers, from which it will then download further programs designed to take control of the infected computer.
Furthermore, the virus is able to automatically disable Windows automatic updating system that could otherwise limit or prevent further infection.
So far it is believed that the virus has spread to around nine million computers around the world.
Make sure you’re not next by installing and maintaining anti-virus software and other security measures.
Additionally, it may be advisable to download the KB958644 Security Update straight from Microsoft.