Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 30, 2009

Countering (a Chinese?) Conficker

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on March 30, 2009

The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has released a detection tool for government use and is providing guidance to private users in regard to the Conficker worm.

A late Sunday report from CNET suggests that the Conficker Worm might originate in China.  A Vietnamese security firm “has found that Conficker’s code is closely related to that of the notorious Nimda, a virus that wreaked havoc on the Net and e-mail in 2001,” according to reporter Dong Ngo. (Someone  has definately pointed toward Beijing and yelled, “pile on.”)

According to the same CNET story, “Conficker is a very sophisticated worm that took advantage of a security hole mentioned in this Microsoft bulletin. The hole affected all 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems, even those with latest service packs. The hole allowed the virus to infect the computer without any user interaction via the Internet, local network, or USB thumb drives. Once infected, it stops the computer’s security services and Windows update service and disables tools and software designed to remove it. The worm also allows the creator to remotely install other malicious codes on the infected computer.”

UPDATE: After-action report – fortunately NOT a post-mortem – from CNET.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

March 30, 2009 @ 4:56 pm


Comment by christopher tingus

March 31, 2009 @ 8:56 am

Again we see the necessity for our new Mr. President and both sides of the aisle to realize that while “fiat” dollars are being printed to bail out everyone it seems these dark and gloomy days as we speed to what some economists point to a global depression, cybersecurity is hopefully at the top of someone’s list and apparently at US-CERT someone is watching out for us. A sincere – thank you – needless to say how concerned as a people we are about a world pervaded with evil doers….

Here on the street, we hear that our electric grid is quite vulnerable at least to China and Russian government technological reach and all governments are concerned as to the uncivilized rogue dictator types who may one day secure computer hacking skills who can do a great deal of harm to us. What other aspects of our infrastructure and Life as we know it are vulnerable?

While this present vulnerability as stated by some experts is heresay, even we putting up firewalls and the latest Norton and other version of software protection makes us wonder just how extensive the threats are to our high flying DoD satellites and our battlefield troops and of course let’s not forget our all important dish-tv!

As we here on the street see years of the same ‘ol boy beltway mannerisms depicting their blue and black suits and red (power) tie always applauding one another on C-span with no knowledge of even what a gallon of milk costs (us) at the local convenience store nor apparently do they care, (we) ask here on the street as Mr. & Mrs. Joe Citizen – how we can be so concerned with our laptops making sure we have Norton or other and firewalls and while – we – applaud US-CERT and the obviously committed men and women who truly understand the threats posed by others….does Congress fully understand how vital
cybersecurity is to our existence….

The question remains, do those in Congress, those we have “entrusted” by our vote in their willingness to serve the majority interests of the public understand how important making available substantial number of these trillions in “fiat” dollars being printed and distributed to bailout Paulson’s buddies with no transparency, monies desperately needed to protect our electric grid nationwide, to listen attentively to the industry “geeks” who know and understand the scope of threats and what they believe are valued solutions to thwart those seeking to disrupt our way of Life.

We hold in the highest esteem those at NSA, US-CERT,
CIA, DoD and other agencies, organizations, think-tanks and individuals who understand the risks posed by not being innovative and resilient, taking the initiative to be “one step ahead” and (we) demand that both sides of the aisle make substantial budget dollars available to invite new talent and skills and to enhance the security of our infrastructure which must withstand another government’s attempt to derail us – to US-CERT – thank you for this new tool to challenge the Chinese version of the Conficker worm – in fact, let’s press forward and develop our own better version and convey a response portraying the worthiness and respect we have for ourselves and sending a clear message that America may be going through some transitions, however it is strong and more than a worthy opponent not to be underestimated.

While the “Good ol’boys of the Beltway” – a title of a new book I am contemplating as this charade continues – these entrusted public officials seem to be at a loss and continuing to focus only on their own egos and agenda, (we) here on the street are affronted by the lack of will, the unwillingness to stand tall, to show America’s strength even to lose American lives on the battlefield, in the neighborhoods where hooded and masked thugs who are young and have no understanding of the preciousness of Life…for there is no other way of Life, no other form of Republic – if adhered to its principals – that has afforded so much to so many and continues to be a beacon of hope – not to the illigal immigrants who cross our borders as criminals and who are wined and dined by state and even our national government -but by the thousands of men, women, and children who line up every morning waiting blocks from the nearest consulate/embassy to apply for a visa, to have the opportunity to stand with right hand up taking the oath to be good and responsible US citizen – to assure that no one is allowed to interfere with the freedoms of the individual fully understanding that with these rights come responsibilities….

To those in China, Russia and wherever else, if America chooses to utilize its resources and entrepreneurial zeal, its compassion for others as well as understanding how Blessed we as a nation have been until the present, if we are willing to repent, to challenge those at the other end of the computer seeking to delete our computer files, to erase us from history, no one, no one can usurp our goodness.

Yes with some mistakes, however our overall intent to invite other civilized people – neighbors – to clasp hands together and maybe not necessarily embrace one another, but to respect one another and to continue to offer hope to the oppressed and to bring greater value to Life where so many are willing to compromise the Life of others so easily. We seek to improve Life and share such with all – however the disrespectful ways shown to us by a number of others make us think differently as well.

Let no one underestimate the resourcefulness and willingness of the American people who as immigrants understand the promise of America each day….

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA USA

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