'Conficker.c' computer worm threat doubted
Mar 31,2009 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON -- U.S. computer researchers say they hope a computer worm called "Conficker.c" turns out to be an April Fool's Day bust like the "millennium bug" of 2000.

Conficker.c has led to predictions that infected computers will shut down Wednesday in a digital "time bomb." But while experts say it is a malicious program thought to have infected between 5 million and 10 million computers, some doubt it will cause mass problems, CNN reported.

Don DeBolt, director of threat research for CA, a New York information technology and software company, told the broadcaster that while the worm may be programmed to do something on April Fool's Day -- such as delete a computer's files or collect private information -- it more likely will attempt to get users to buy phony software.

CNN said computer security experts contend that hackers mostly have abandoned "showboating" and trying to cause random trouble and are usually more interested in trying to make money off viral programs such as Conficker.c.

Still, experts say precautions should be taken, such as installing the latest Windows security update from Microsoft Corp.

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