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Remove Conficker.C (updated Jul 2019) - Removal Guide

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Worms

Conficker worm that can be called a global malware since it infects millions of Microsoft devices 

Conficker wormConficker is a botnet that infects the system and then controls the device remotely to launch attacks like denial of service and leads to system crashes. This malware can spread other viruses, launch various processes and attacks and even shut down services like banking institutions, hospitals, and government offices. Attacks of such malware can lead to crippled computer networks of cities and interference with elections and social media.

Since there are many versions of Conficker botnet, it can launch any of these processes and lead to far worse attacks or damage. This worm s one of the more persistent threats in the history of cybersecurity. This virus spreads using various methods that are more common and unconventional techniques like exploiting vulnerabilities and looking for system flaws on the targeted system. Ransomware, miners, worms, and other malware set to perform system changes and launch processes in the background come unnoticed, and the victim only encounters system issues or suspicious activity.

Name Conficker
Type Worm
Danger level High
Symptoms Annoying messages on the screen, crashes of the system, suspicious processes running in the background
Distribution Exploits MS08-067 vulnerability, spreads through insecure external drives, infected files
Known  Since 2008
Elimination Use anti-malware tools for system cleaning and Conficker removal

Conficker virus stands for the name of the computer worm which was first detected in November 2008[1]. It breaks into a computer system and then connects to a larger network of machines – botnet, which then spreads the malware to other devices. Security vulnerabilities and outdated system serve as the main vector for the worm to occupy the device. The malware is also capable of infecting removable devices such as USB sticks.

Mainly Windows OS has been subject to the attacks to this malware. Furthermore, it may run under the disguise of comaddin32.dll, svchost.exe, explorer.exe, or services.exe command in the Task Manager. Since its appearance, different variations have been detected. Naturally, they bear alternative names, such as Downup, Downadup, Kido, Conficker.C, Conficker.A and Conficker B++[2].

During the years, the malware has evolved into a significant threat. Microsoft has even issued a 250 000 USD dollar reward for finding the culprit. Interestingly, ransomware developers decided to share the notorious fame of the worm and Conficker ransomware.

The emergence of this malware initiated the formation of Conficker Working Group, which investigates the computer networks and IP addresses whether they are infected with the malware. It is suspected that over 600 000 devices still possess the threat. Over the years, the discussions about the malware have subsided. It has been a popular tendency among cybercriminals to revive older viruses.

Likewise, the same scenario may be applicable for this worm as well. Luckily, even if you get infected with this malware, the majority of anti-spyware security applications are able to detect and remove Conficker virus.

Most of the researchers believe that Conficker worm is developed by Ukranian hackers who focus on creating the platform for global theft. Malware employs sophisticated encryption algorithms RC4, RSA, and MD6 that are produced by the premier cryptologist. The Ukraine clue was spotted when the feature about self-destruction on Ukranian PCs was discovered.

The worm displays tons of redirects to suspicious domains to disguise the source of commands and this way machines come to the point where they overheat and crash. There are versions of the worm and the most known appears to be Conficker.C that was especially active at the end of 2011.

Conficker virus
Conficker is the virus that exploits system vulnerabilities to infiltrate the targeted Microsoft machines.

While improving technical specifications, the developers also shifted from using the previous title to Conficker. When this worm emerged, few have anticipated what damage it would inflict on the entire cyberspace globally. Business companies and individual users in more than 190 countries have suffered from the Conficker hijack[3].

The flexibility of this malware was one of the key reasons why this malware has remained on the market. Once it gets into the system, it may disable security applications, download corrupted files, collect personal information and, most importantly, connect the device to a botnet.

Once Conficker.C malware settles on the operating system, it will add a specific file to the removable drive to the local drives. Then the dialogue box emerges asking to “Open folder to view files.” The only thing which might trigger your suspicion is the line indicating – “Publisher not specified.” During its presence, the computer processes significantly deteriorates. 

Nonetheless, to the bewilderment of the virtual community, the virus has not been terminated yet. Indeed, it is less active than in 2008. Interestingly, the worm would not have emerged if not for a fatal Microsoft patch (MS08-67) released in 2008[4].

Certain technical specifications allowed Conficker virus to emerge and remain one of the top 5 most destructive threats. Since it targets system vulnerabilities, devices with poor passwords, it explains why the threat has not been seized and still remains potentially dangerous.

Furthermore, the current version of the worm targets not only ordinary computers but MRI machines, IoT devices, and CT scanners, such as police surveillance cameras. Such actors emphasize the necessity to secure devices by updating crucial system applications, features. Install a proper anti-virus program. You should pay close attention to all the parts and possible risk on the device you don't want to remove Conficker in the future.

Besides this utility, anti-malware utilities such as Reimage and Malwarebytes, are practical as well. They might detect minor malicious files which signal a more elaborate threat. Lastly, it is no less important to be aware of the distribution, as well as Conficker removal options. 

Conficker malware
Conficker.C worm is the version of a well-known worm that still resides in the cyberspace.

The distribution of malware

The sophisticated method this worm infiltrates the core of computer requires knowledge of `particular Microsoft engineering. This worm discovered new flaws in the Windows operating system and can exploit them to infiltrate the needed machines before users patch those vulnerabilities.

The worm also can disguise its point of origin and hide controllers, malicious files. It even encrypts commands and controls to avoid the shut down by security tools or even IT experts. Another common way to spread such malicious files dropping the worm on the computer involves spam email campaigns and file attachments. Various documents, PDFs and common types like DLLs or EXE files pose as attachments on the email containing legitimate-looking financial message.

These emails look safe due to facts like:

  • familiar company or service name;
  • financial or informational purpose of the email;
  • the email received going to the main email box, not spam.

Focus on Conficker termination and system cleaning with AV tools

When the worm entered the cyberspace and started spreading terror, one of the key questions was whether it was possible to remove Conficker virus. The identity of developers remains a mystery as well as the specific number of still functioning bots.

On the other hand, you should bear in mind that the malware is still present in the virtual space and spreads around the world. Even if you happen to get infected with this computer worm, a variety of anti-virus programs both, professional and less powerful, are capable of detecting the threat[5]. Launch it and start Conficker removal. 

Conficker worm developers can even use the infected machine for more attacks, and current threats can launch a range of different processes.  Although many researchers took over the control of this botnet, they cannot indicate particular instructions and offer remedy for the victim. You need to rely on Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes and clean the machine thoroughly from all the malware installed without your permission.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References


  1. Guest says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 4:05 am

    does not work 🙁

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