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How to detect and remove the April Fool's virus (Conficker)
Swamp Tech You may have heard about a nasty virus (technically, it's a worm) that will strike infected Windows computers on April Fool's day.  This April Fool's virus is also known as Conficker, Cornflicker, Downup, Downadup and Kido.  Microsoft even offered a US$250,000 reward for the capture of the Conficker creator.

If you automatically update your Windows and anti-virus software, there is little chance that your computer is infected.  However, there is a free, easy way to detect and remove it:

Download and run the free Conficker Removal Tool from http://www.enigmasoftware.com (there is a link to download the tool).

That's it!  Be aware that when the tool is completed, it will take you to complete a survey on the Engima Software website (a sales pitch so you'll use Enigma's antivirus tool).  You can complete the survey or simply close that browser / page.

Microsoft also has a free tool, but there have been reports of delays in downloading this tool (http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm).

Other free Conficker removal tools:
BitDefender Conficker (Downadup Worm) Removal Tool
F-Secure Conficker Worm (Downadup) Removal Tool
Kapersky Conficker Killer
McAfee Avert Stinger
Sophos Conficker Cleanup Tools
TrendMicro SysClean WORM_DOWNADIf you're interested, here are more details from security software vendor Symantec:

If you’re worried about the Conficker worm striking on April 1st, don’t be.

On April 1st the Conficker worm will simply start taking more steps to protect itself. After that date, machines infected with the “C” variant of the worm may not be able to get security updates or patches from Microsoft and from many other vendors. The creators of the worm will also start using a communications system that is more difficult for security researchers to interrupt.

The Conficker worm, sometimes called Downadup or Kido has managed to infect a large number of computers. Specifics are hard to come by, but some researchers estimate that millions of computers have been infected with this threat since January.

What does the Conficker worm do?

We don’t know the purpose of the Conficker worm. Today the worm has created an infrastructure that the creators of the worm can use to remotely install software on infected machines. What will that software do? We don’t know. Most likely the worm will be used to create a botnet that will be rented out to criminals who want to send SPAM, steal IDs and direct users to online scams and phishing sites.

The Conficker worm mostly spreads across networks. If it finds a vulnerable computer, it turns off the automatic backup service, deletes previous restore points, disables many security services, blocks access to a number of security web sites and opens infected machines to receive additional programs from the malware’s creator. The worm then tries to spread itself to other computers on the same network.

How does the worm infect a computer?

The Downadup worm tries to take advantage of a problem with Windows (a vulnerability) called MS08-067 to quietly install itself. Users who automatically receive updates from Microsoft are already protected from this. The worm also tries to spread by copying itself into shared folders on networks and by infecting USB devices such as memory sticks.

Who is at risk?

Users whose computers are not configured to receive patches and updates from Microsoft and who are not running an up to date antivirus product are most at risk. Users who do not have a genuine version of Windows from Microsoft are most at risk since pirated system usually cannot get Microsoft updates and patches.
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