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We won't fault anyone who, after reading our Conficker coverage, when and constructed an aluminum foil deflector beanie (see here for a great how-to), and you might even choose to still wear it. But we do encourage taking a collective sigh of relief with us. It's now April 1st, and Conficker.c doesn't look like its going to cause the kind of mass damage that made the worm famous. Or at least it hasn't happened yet.
According to early reports, Conficker.c has caused only a smatttering of security breaches across the globe, most of which have occured in Asia. It's believed that somewhere between 1 million and 2 million computers are actively infected with the worm, significantly less than the 9 million it claimed in January. And while Asia has been bearing the brunt of infections, the infection rate in North America sits at only 5.8 percent, according to IBM ISS Managed Security Services.
We envy your 8-ball, and while it's entirely possible that nothing much more will happen, there's still a chance that Conficker.c could wreak more havoc before all is said and done. Some security experts believe it will take days before we truly know what Conficker.c is up to, noting that the worm has increased the number of DNS resolutions, expanding its list of domains and perhaps waiting for further instructions. And yet others are decidely less worried.
"Over the next 24 hours Conficker will change the way it communicates, but we don't expect much of anything else to happen," said Marcus Sachs, director of the SANS Internet Storm Center, in a blog post. "There has been quite a bit of media hype about Conficker, and we've seen dozens of new domain names registered to 'help' those who are confused. There are also several reports of malicious software masquerading as detection and cleaing tools for Conficker-infected computers."
Put simply, Conficker.c has yet to do any widespread damage, and it might never cause any real harm. But it's also shown some activity, which could indicate more to come. Continue practicing safe computing, perhaps erring on the side of caution for the next few days, and it really shouldn't matter one way or the other.