Conicker is a virus that, in the form of multiple variants, infected unpatched computers.
Last year Conicker garnered mainstream attention due to a supposed April 1 trigger. On that date, Conicker-infected computers were expected to "phone home" to fetch new instructions from whoever hold's the viruses reins. Presumably, the goal of Conficker's controllers involved the creation of a netwok of personal computers and servers that would carry out illegal machine-based activities.
Microsoft released a patch for Conficker, and members of the computer security community prepared a set of freely available tools to aid in Conficker detection and removal for infected systems. Whether it was because of these tools or because Conficker had been highly overestimated, April Fools Day 2009 came and went, and the nation's computing systems (for the most part) remained unscathed.
With that said, Conficker called attention to the problems inherent in deploying systems that offer internet access, and it highlighted the importance of watching more closely the privileges granted to corporate users.
Moreover, because Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 machines proved to be significantly less vulnerable to Conficker than systems running Windows 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003, the virus also highlighted the very real consequences of not using the latest software versions.
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