Security Researchers Score Win Against Conficker Worm
Security vendors are taking advantage of a discovery by two members of the Honeynet Project who uncovered a new way to detect the Conficker worm on infected PCs. McAfee and Qualys are said to be among the vendors updating their scanning tools with the new detection method.Security pros have uncovered a new technique for detecting PCs infected by the Conficker worm. The technique is based on a discovery by members of the Honeynet Project, which found that Conficker's attempts to cloak itself from network administrators may have backfired. As part of its defenses, Conficker deploys a fake patch for the Microsoft vulnerability it exploits that researchers have speculated is meant both to fool admins into thinking systems are patched and to keep other types of malware from exploiting the vulnerability.
However, Honeynet Project researchers Felix Leder and Tillmann Werner noted there are flaws in the way Conficker "patches" these compromised systems that can be used to detect if a PC is infected with Conficker. The discovery prompted members of the Conficker Cabal-a group of researchers and vendors fighting Conficker-to begin working on ways to use the discovery to help network scanners detect the worm.