On April 1st, the Conficker worm, perhaps the most wide-spread malware program in history, is set to activate. We don’t know what Conficker will do, but it’s a safe bet it won’t be anything nice to the hundreds of thousands of Windows PCs that have been infected with it. Will it strip out every credit-card number within these PCs? Launch a massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack? Subscribe you to PETA porn!? We don’t know.
I don’t want to find out myself. There are several ways you can try to protect yourself from Conficker. These include disabling AutoRun, since Conficker can spread by infected USB drives; using current anti-virus software; use Windows’ own malicious software removal tool; or, switch to OpenDNS for your DNS service. There are many ways to try to stop these attacks, unfortunately, the bad guys are always working on getting newer and better ways to infect your system.
The sad truth is no matter what you do with Windows, whether you’re running XP, Vista, or the Windows 7 beta, you’re not safe. Now, however there’s a patch that will stop Conficker, and almost all other malware programs, in their tracks. It’s called Linux.