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Conficker: an April fool's joke or hazardous computer worm?

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No one's sure if it's an April fool's joke or a genuine threat, nonetheless, security experts are racing against the clock to try to stop an alleged computer worm from potentially infecting millions of computers. The worm is called Conficker C. It has the potential of being one of the most damaging computer attacks we've seen in years. Conficker first surfaced in 2008 and infected nine million computers. The virus, also known among experts as Downandup, was first discovered in November last year. It was sold as part of a kit by a Chinese hacker. Since then, two variants have gone on to infect more than 10 million PC's. Exactly what could happen if the worm attacks is unknown. Experts say it could steal personal information, wipe out hard drives, or con computer users into buying phony software. To keep your computer safe, be sure your anti-virus software is up to date. If your computer isn't updating itself automatically, it could be infected. Microsoft offers a free service scan at safety.live.com. The worm does not affect Apple computers. Microsoft has offered a $250,000 reward to find the creator of the program.

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