Biggest. Computer. Virus (or Hoax). Ever.
The beginning of a global online crime wave, or the biggest April Fool's Day joke in history?
That's the question relating to insidious worm called Conficker - which is threatening to infect up to 15 million personal computers today.
As of this morning, April 1, these machines are supposed to receive new instructions from the worm's creators via the Internet.
Computer security experts don't know what to expect.
There's just no way to tell what it will do, say professionals who have been monitoring chatter about the virus for months.
A surge in spam e-mails or digital attacks on major Internet sites are theories - as is a complete non-event. As in, this is all a sham.
First spotted in November 2008 by groups of computer repair and security researchers, Conficker attacks computers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP or Vista operating systems.
Conficker is made possible by a security flaw in Windows software that allows an infected machine to spread the worm to other Windows computers through the Internet.
Microsoft issued a fix for the problem months ago, but millions haven't installed it. Conficker can also be spread by infected removable disks or USB drives.
This is a sophisticated bug, too. If a machine is already infected, Ft. Lauderdale computer repair experts say getting a cure can be difficult, as Conficker will block the computer from visiting websites that provide antivirus products.
Fort Lauderdale computer repair experts say Conficker will infect relatively few computers in the area and U.S. as a whole.
Instead, it will mainly be attacking machines in countries like China and India, where tens of millions of people are using unauthorized copies of Windows.
Microsoft does not provide automatic security updates for pirated software.
Continue reading this article here ...