Microsoft and other vendors issue patches on a regular basis. These patches fix security vulnerabilities in your computer, fix bugs, improve features or other things. All of these things are important, but one of the most important reasons to patch is to enhance the security of your product.
Recently the Conficker Worm infected 9 million computers according to F-Secure, as reported by PC World
Symantec writes that the virus can infect your computer in one of three ways:
It tries to take advantage of a problem with Windows (a vulnerability) called MS08-067 to quietly install itself. Users who automatically receive updates from Microsoft are already protected from this. The worm also tries to spread by copying itself into shared folders on networks and by infecting USB devices such as memory sticks.
If you already have an anti-virus program installed on your computer – you’re protected. If you have not updated your desktop/notebook computer and servers, you should do so.
What happens if your computer is infected? Experts don’t really know what the virus will do, but some believe that it will make your computer a part of a “bot-net” in which criminals can use your computer to distribute attacks to other computers.
Microsoft has more information on the Conficker worm here. The diagram below is from their web site as well.
60 Minutes Coverage of Conficker
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