My father is from Oregon and I lived briefly in the beautiful state of Washington. Rumors and legends of a creature commonly known as Bigfoot exist. Local towns and national media have all used these rumors and at times have created hype about the creature, yet all these years later he, she or it still has not been found.
Just nine short years ago, ok ten really, the media picked up on a “bug” in computer systems where the first two digit of the year were not used so, according to the “experts” the media contacted all computers will think it is 1900 and ATMs will crash, Wall Street will blip to all zeros and the CNN would start playing old Howdy Doody shows, non-stop. Ok, I made that last part up. In any way, the long of the short of it is that the Y2K “bug” was mainly just another panic and media scare.
Alas, we come to April 1st 2009 and another “April Fools” worm/virus or attack was supposed to bring the World Wide Web to a standstill. Conficker, where are you? I know, hind-site is 20/20 and I should have written this in late March but my great excuse is that I was answering so many calls about the “imminent attack” that I did not have time to write. Yes, once again that is an exaggeration. I did not write about it because it was, in my opinion going to be another non-event, that was until March 30th when a local television station ran with some sensationalism on this and then on the 31st another station did to.
This time I was uncertain about how to respond, not to the threat, after all, Microsoft had created a patch 6 months prior that would have been installed with it critical updates and the top anti-virus companies had hardened their systems against this threat at the same time (I can only speak for those I researched such as ESET and Kaspersky).
My concern was how a local computer / technology company was going to respond to the questioning. Since I have been interviewed by the local media and am a little on the paranoid side as it is, I worried about the way thing would be presented. I do feel a little hype was injected by thankfully no hysteria message from the technology company to the effect “quick, bring in your PC for the $99.99 checkup…”
In the end, what happened? Well on my end so far (as of April 7th) not a single customer has been infected and we have not received a single call that would lead us to believe a potential client was infected.
Does this mean no-one was infected? I doubt that, the worm was supposed to activate on the 1st so the threat is not over. Update your computer via Windows Critical updates, install and properly configure a current anti-virus and anti-malware program. If you are not sure how to do these steps, contact your local computer repair shop and then take a class from you local community college or from any of the great usergroups around almost every town.
So I ask again, where is Bigfoot, where is the Y2K bug and where is the Conficker?