April Fool's worm attack a joke?

Todd Kingman
Todd Kingman

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MOILIILI (KHNL) - It's a day that was supposed to be a so-called "Cyber Armageddon". But like Y2K, the computer virus nicknamed the April Fool's Worm, didn't end up causing much chaos after all.

Was it a joke, or part of the hacker's plot? KHNL got some answers from SuperGeeks.

It's a date investigators found in the code of the Conficker worm, one that has SuperGeeks in Moiliili flooded with phone calls from customers, worried the worm will attack their computers. But it appears the feared April 1 doomsday was just a joke. Or was it?

"It could've been that these hackers decided not to do something and they did plan on actually plan on doing some sort of catastrophic event. Or it could've been they never planned on doing anything at all," said Todd Kingman, SuperGeeks Ring Leader.

No worm-infected computers have come into the shop. Some customers did bring their computers in to get them scanned, just to be safe.

Kingman says the Conficker creators can still potentially cause cyber crashes, or hack into personal information, by injecting bogus software, into an infected computer.

"Basically create a message saying your computer is infected, click here and download or pay for this software and it will clean your computer. What they're actually trying to do is take your money and take your credit card information," said Kingman.

To protect your computer, download Windows updates to patch holes the worm could bury itself in, update your anti-virus software, and do a full system scan.

Kingman says the worm is hard to detect, but there are red flags.

"Your computer running slow, being sluggish, pop-ups, maybe errors coming up," he said.

While an April Fool's worm attack didn't pan out, Conficker has infected up to 15 million computers worldwide so far. So the question remains - what are the hackers up to, and why?

There's an easy way to check for the Conficker worm.

It disables your Windows automatic updates, and your anti-virus software.

So if you type in the web address of a computer security company like McAfee or Symantec, and it doesn't pull up, your computer is likely infected.