Privacy, Security & Virus Information
Does Conflicker Mean Doom for the Internet?
The internet is under attack by a determined bunch of cyber criminals and the guys at not only Microsoft, but all the computer security companies, are taking a stand against viruses that are not only extremely sophisticated, but programmed for stealth.
Firstly, it means that anyone not running an anti-virus programme is either very mad, or very brave. Itís akin to running around the worst district in a City whilst parading your full wallet, latest iPod and shiny new phone. Youíll get mugged, and itís the same on the internet; there are many cyber criminals out there just ready to syphon personal and banks details off your computer, and then sell them on to the guys that then drain your bank account, or establish cloned identities.
But what worries many is that as the viruses and worms get ever more sophisticated, will it make the internet a less attractive place to play? As though a good social project like a sunny park has been taken over the wrong kind of people and turned into a no-go zone.
The latest worm to gain infamous status is the Conflicker which, it is reckoned, has already infected over 12 million computers worldwide.
The Conflicker is particularly clever because it got through a security hole and infected peopleís computers via the internet, networks, or memory sticks. It then sits there, waiting for updates and when that update arrives, it allows its host to be penetrated by malware code, which then allows its creator to raid the computer for its key information.
There are a few upsides: if youíre not currently infected, itís likely youíll not be caught this time around, and that it can be removed from your system, by using techniques established by the anti-virus companies.
But will the Conflicker worm, and similar bugs, spell major trouble for the internet? It is estimated that last year, the number of computer infections more than tripled.
The experts are so worried about Conflicker because itís acting as a sleeper cell, waiting for instructions from its originators. And once those instructions are given, it can either potentially syphon off peopleís personal data, or create millions of spam messages which clog the whole email network.
Basically, the internet is under siege and the social networking sites are particularly vulnerable, because these are great spawning grounds for bugs like Conflicker.
But cyber criminals arenít fussy where they hide their malware and the more innocent the site, the better.
As to the future of the internet, what frustrates many of the experts out there is thatís not really up to them if the web survives these constant onslaughts, itís up to the billions of users.
Comparatively few computer users have the best up-to-date anti-virus software programmes running and many more donít employ proper protection techniques, including properly compiled passwords and data storage. Computer security consultants claim that people are just too trusting and itís really in their hands whether the internet will remain a viable means of conducting personal and commercial business.
So, whether the likes of Conflicker and the whole host of other baddies, brings down the internet, is really down to the man and woman in the street. Unless they make proper attempts to prevent being mugged online, then Conflicker might indeed win the day.
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