Conficker: Relax, Take a Deep Breath and Chill Out

The Conficker computer virus continues to make sensational headlines, mostly of The-End-Is-Nigh variety. Most recent news accounts–most prominently a feature on CBS’s (CBS) “60 Minutes” Sunday–are portraying Conficker as some unstoppable force which will melt the world’s computers and maybe destroy the Internet on April 1. There’s a kernel of truth to these reports, but just a kernel.

As we wrote last week: It’s likely that nothing bad will happen.

Here’s how we ended up here: There are thousands of companies and independent researchers in the tech-security industry, most of which could benefit from a little publicity. And having read a newspaper once or twice, they know that sensationalism sells. So they gravitate towards a worst-case interpretation of the facts. Journalists, many of whom don’t really understand the technology being described, eat it up.

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