Well April 1 has come and gone and the Conflicker worm didn’t destroy humanity. As “Worm chaos fails to strike” noted:
“there was no evidence it was doing anything other than modifying itself to be harder to exterminate.”
Like, duh! Why would it do anything else? As I noted in previous posts (here and here), the media does nothing to help the cause of IT security by using inflammatory articles. Why? Because they get ‘average’ users all apprehensive as to what will happen to their machines and then when nothing does (in this case again), users believe that it is all simply a case of ‘crying wolf’ and don’t change their online behaviour. This means their systems continue to remain unpatched and unsecured making it easier again for the bad guys.
There seems little doubt that the Conflicker worm is real and that it has many systems in its grasp but in the end it is all about money not about some sort of security statement or proof of concept attack.
The disjoint between informed IT security and the ‘average’ user simply grows when incidents like this occur. The lack of understanding and drive for sensationalism by the media simply makes the situation worse. In the end the only solution I can see is to force people to update their systems. You’re not allowed on the road with an unsafe car are you? Why are you allowed on the Information Superhighway with an unsafe PC? In the end regulation is the only way we can overcome this issue as I see it.
Till then, the bad guys just keep kicking goals.