DHS Offers Tool to Detect Conficker

Variant of Worm Could Activate April 1 The Department of Homeland Security is on the defense against the Conficker computer worm, releasing a tool it says can detect the malware on computer networks.

DHS's announcement comes days before Variant C of Conficker, also known as Downadup, is expected to be activated on Wednesday, April 1. Conficker can infect Microsoft Windows systems from thumb drives, network share drives or directly across a corporate network if network servers are not protected by Microsoft's MS08-067 patch. If the worm infests a computer, an attacker could remotely seize control of a system and install additional malicious software.

"While tools have existed for individual users, this is the only free tool and the most comprehensive one available for enterprises like federal and state government and private sector networks to determine the extent to which their systems are infected by this worm," Mischel Kwon, director of DHS's United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which developed the tool, said in a statement. "Our experts at US-CERT are working around the clock to increase our capabilities to address the cyber risk to our nation's critical networks and systems, both from this threat and all others."

DHS said it's working with private and government partners to minimize any impact from the Conficker/Downadup computer worm.

Cyber experts from DHS briefed federal chief information officers and chief information security officers as well as their equivalents in state and local governments and business about the DHS tool on Monday.

US-CERT recommends that Windows users apply Microsoft security patch immediately to help protect themselves from the worm.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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