back to article Conficker's 6m strong botnet confounds security probes

The unknown crooks behind the infamous Conficker worm may be quietly selling off parts of the huge botnet established by the malware, but virus fighters have no way of knowing because the cryptographic defences of its command and control network have proved uncrackable. Conficker (aka Downadup) first appeared in November 2008 …


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  1. Raumkraut

    The Singularity is nigh, and it's name is Conficker.

    If I were a sentient AI, this is probably one of the initial ways I would go about staying alive.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Prime Stock Option is Conficker in AI Industries and IC Enterprises

    "Rodney Joffe, a senior technologist at net infrastructure firm Neustar, dismisses the theory that Conficker was a failed experiment or "research project" by cybercrooks, perhaps one that was too successful to be useful. In particular he's dismissive of the idea that the botnet remains dormant because activating it would provoke unwelcome law enforcement attention."

    And what is the probability of Conficker being an ongoing deepening experiment and classified research project for Sublime Command and Control of Global Operating Devices and Communicating Computers?

    Conficker works well beyond provocative unwelcome law enforcement attention's reach, methinks, although they themselves would be easily reached and breached with an swarming infestation/rabid rush of unusual activity/irregular and unconventional trade and exchange in their communications networks.

    Which would all suggest Conficker be AI Governmental Spyware ....... BetaTesting Quantum Communications Protocols.

    Heap Powerful Medicine for Wizards and Witches, Satyrs and Nymphs, Great and Good Saints and Sinners.

  3. Barry 17
    Thumb Up


    Do you read Peter F Hamilton by any chance?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Being Prepared

    I hope the Reg will warn us if Conficker suddenly changes its name to "Skynet"

    Mine now has a copy of "How to Survive a Robot uprising" in the inner pocket.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      ICANN in the Frame/Bombe Sights

      " Mine now has a copy of "How to Survive a Robot uprising" in the inner pocket." ..... Ian Emery

      Posted Thursday 5th August 2010 17:40 GMT

      To be properly prepared you'll also be needing "How to Survive a Root Server Robot Revolution" , Ian Emery.

  5. Craig Foster


    Are you sure you don't mean "damp squid"? :)

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      And now for something completely different ....

      "Are you sure you don't mean "damp squid"? :)" .... Craig Foster Posted Thursday 5th August 2010 23:04 GMT

      What do you give a man who has everything and an octopus to play with? Stealthy Virile Code and Dodgy Binary Keys for Remote Kernel Control of Classified Information and Future SMART Intelligence. Or is that Created In-house and On Board with Computers Communicating and thus a Gift of One's Own Making for the Sharing and the Taking.

      Which would quite a powerful lead-in teaser for a Vulcan Production dealing Virtual InSanity and Virgin Madness ..... for Multiple Orders of Dynamic Organised Chaos. .....

      Which is for some just a Job to Plug into for Input to Output.

    2. frank ly

      A squid is already damp!

      Please ignore the simpleton.

    3. wheel

      Not a squid.

      There's no problem with a damp squid. That's the way they're supposed to be.

      A squib, however, is a small firework (or explosive) which you have to keep dry. If you don't, it's a real anticlimax. It goes off like a damp squib.

      1. Richard Scratcher

        Dimp Squad

        Squids are always damp. What you mean is a damp squab, which is a small wet pigeon.

    4. LawLessLessLaw

      did I miss a pun?

      A squib is an explosive charge. One use is for faking bullet hits in TV & Film, you know, when someone's shirt explodes with bullet holes, that was a set of squibs.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: did I miss a pun?

        In a word, Yes.

        IT crowd.

    5. Wize

      Thats the kind of post that should be put...

      ...on a pedal stool.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    And while we puzzle about it, what about the thought that it might be the reason Obama has awarded himself an "Internet Kill Switch"? And the corollary that it might be a covert black ops system?

    1. Willy Messerschmitt

      Not really Conjecture

      TheReg reported that a USGOV contractor is taking over botnets and exploits them for intel gathering. The next step would be to actively create botnets, if the existing ones are no longer sufficient.

  7. Daniel B.

    Project 2501

    It's that weird Section 6 AI they made, get ready for the thing to come alive!

  8. Willy Messerschmitt

    Why Don't They

    ..use facebook, myspace,, youtube and all the other sites that allow for unmoderated comments to perform command and control ?

    That would take away the need to set up domains and the consequential C&C vulnerability.

    The messages would be gpg-signed commands, obfuscated through some sort of steganography.

  9. Rob


    Apparently the only defence against this is to create an AI called Skynet that will help eradicate the botnet, although I don't know how successful that was in the film as I fell asleep ;)

  10. John Goodwin 4
    IT Angle

    IT crowd

    I'm with you Craig on that one... but please don't put me on a pedalstool.

  11. Ron Eve

    I for one...

    ...welcome our Conficker Bonet Overloads - it's Our Density

  12. DirkGently
    IT Angle

    Have you tried...

    ... turning it off and on again?

  13. Pete 8


    gummint malware, pity they dont have algorhythms that people can dance to.

    I'd love to DJ IT!

  14. Steve Evans


    At least Conficker is nice and gives some serious clues to the tech savvy that it is there...

    Network traffic goes through the roof and windows update disabled... Hmmmm... Might notice that!

    Personally I'm more worried about one that doesn't disable windows update, which spreads quietly without flooding the network, and has so far gone unnoticed!

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    6m PC's corrupted

    Didn't realise the NHS had that many.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hello god is there anyone up there

    to tivo or not to tivo adsl is the quetion not to mention bpl of course im slighty paranoid

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