Conficker Virus Comes Alive, Attacks PCs

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2009 6:45 PM CDT
Different editions of the Windows Vista computer operating system are on display at a store in New York in this Jan. 30, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)

(Newser) – Weeks after causing an April Fool's scare, the Conficker bug has come to life and used some personal computers to send out spam, Reuters reports. The computer virus, which has infected millions of PCs, downloaded the spam software onto a small percentage of them in recent weeks. One expert warns this is just the beginning. "Expect this to be long-term, slowly changing," he said.

Conficker has also downloaded a virus onto PCs warning of an infection. If users agree to buy fake anti-virus software, their credit card data is stolen and even more malware is downloaded. Also called Downadup or Kido, Conficker infected personal computers last year and enabled a remote server to effectively control them—but did little else until now.