The Conficker worm has now claimed its 15 millionth victim worldwide, including a number of leading public organisations in the UK. The figure makes it the worst outbreak of any form of malware since the Slammer worm outbreak back in 2003. Whilst surveys have shown that Asia and Latin America have been the most badly affected by the outbreak of the worm, some 3,000 organisations have been affected by the virus – including the Ministry of Defence as well as a number of NHS Trusts and local authorities. Around 3m PC’s are believed to have been affected by the worm, also known as Kido or Downadup, since Thursday alone. On Wednesday it was revealed that the worm is exploiting a weakness in the Beta release of Windows 7. The spread of the worm has been largely attributed to the widespread use of USB sticks, which become infected with the worm before then being transferred to another PC. Experts think a new variant is responsible for the recent outbreak, which has shot up from 2.4m infected computers on 15 January and are urging users to update their antivirus software and install Microsoft patch MS08-067. K7 Computing has also released a free tool to remove the worm from already infected PC’s. The tool can be downloaded here.
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