Worm Set to Unleash Massive April Fool's Prank

Malware experts race against time to limit the program's damage
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2009 2:53 PM CDT
This negative stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showed recreated 1918 influenza virions that were collected from the supernatant of a Madin-Darby Canine Kidney cell culture.   (Wikimedia Commons/Cynthia Goldsmith)
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(Newser) – Malware experts are racing to find the authors of the Conficker C worm and limit the damage it seems poised to do beginning April Fool’s Day, CNN reports. Conficker C, the bug’s third iteration since late 2008, has infected between 5 and 10 million computers but so far has not taken action; a piece of the code indicates the worm will activate April 1.

It is unclear what the massive April Fool’s prank could be, but the goal of Conficker A was to trick users into buying fake antivirus software. The worm’s author has installed update capability to dodge the efforts of antivirus researchers: “We’re trying to reduce the impact of the April 1 date as best we can,” one analyst said. “But we know this malware will continue to evolve.”