April Fools Virus Bigger Than March Madness

    March 31, 2009
    Chris Crum

March Madness has been a very buzz-worthy topic over the last month or so, but as the NCAA tournament has gotten closer to its end, the buzz has faded consistently. A different topic has generated buzz however, and that is the Conficker computer virus that is supposed to hit the Internet on April 1st. According to Wikipedia:

Conficker, also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido, is a computer worm that surfaced in October 2008 and targets the Microsoft Windows operating system. The worm exploits a previously patched vulnerability in the Windows Server service used by Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 Beta, and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta. The worm has been unusually difficult for network operators and law enforcement to counter because of its combined use of advanced malware techniques.

CNET prvoides a round-up of Conficker coverage, saying that the virus is expected to hit the web on April 1st, but "experts disagree on how extensive the damage could be."

According to Nielsen, in the last week, buzz has grown so much that it recently eclipsed blogosphere March Madness talk:

Recent Buzz On Conficker Vs. March Madness

Back in February, Microsoft offered a $250,000 reward for info leading to the arrest of the Conficker’s culprits. According to Nielsen, since then, "terms like ‘virus removal’ and ‘virus protection’ have spiked during the work week."

Virus Removal

Is the whole thing an elaborate April Fool’s day joke? It doesn’t look that way. "It’s definitely serious," says Symantec’s Kevin Haley (via Boston Herald). A Google Google+Search”>search for "conficker" brings back about 3,510,000 results.