So, was Conficker the bust that some say it is? Possibly, but not because of how it was written. I think what caused it not to be as explosive as it could have been was due to it’s own initial success. When the first couple of versions came out at the end of last year and beginning of this year, it quickly snagged millions of computers and turned them into slaves, or bots. Granted, many of those were from places where unauthorized versions of Windows are being used, and therefore no security updates, but it grew fast enough that Microsoft was forced to put out an emergency patch to prevent infection (Conficker used an open hole in the Windows operating system to sneak onto a computer).
Anyhow, when Conficker hit so many millions of computers, people were alerted to the worm and made sure their computers were patched and their anti-virus programs were updated. Once that happened, it effectively shut the Conficker worm out of their computers.
As for the security upgrades, for some reason, Microsoft decided to set the default for automatic updates for 3:00 a.m. Now, a lot of desktop computers may stay on overnight, but not many laptops do. For those, it’s critically important that the updates get done. Read my post – Windows Updates – Which to Install? to see how to change these settings and how to securely update your computer.
So, what about Conficker. Well, it can still take off and do damage, but it can only do damage if it’s on your computer and if your computer is patched and protected, most likely it’s not there. And, if you’re running Vista, then it really isn’t there, but it’s still very important for you to get the Microsoft Security Patches because if it’s not Conficker, there will always be another one attacking the holes.