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Fonzie of the Week #5: Conficker

August 28th, 2009 No comments
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The Conficker Worm“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
-from The Usual Suspects

That’s right, folks, in a week when every other major media outlet will be honoring and memorializing Ted Kennedy – and rightly so – I am thumbing my nose at the establishment and honoring a computer virus as Fonzie of the Week. (And yes, I now consider myself a major media outlet…I’ve been blogging for over a month. Beat that, CNN!) Why? Because Conficker is so sneaky and dastardly that it’s only a matter of time before it assumes control and turns us into slaves, helplessly doing its bidding under our brutal master’s ever-present watchful eye. And as the first major media outlet to sing Conficker’s praises, I’m hoping my loyalty will be rewarded when the inevitable happens and the rest of you are toiling away in the silicon mines. Hail Conficker!

But seriously, of all the viruses, worms and other digital creepy-crawlies out there, Conficker is without a doubt the coolest. As suggested by the quote at the top of this post, Conficker is the Keyser Söze of malware. It’s lulled us into a sense of complacency, cleverly baiting us into believing that it’s just a harmless myth. “Conficker? Bah, Conficker is as real as the boogeyman! April 1st came and went and nothing happened! Hey, let’s go put our bank account numbers into the cloud…what could go wrong?” But just like Keyser Söze, it’s real, it’s out there and it’s a cold ruthless killer just waiting for the right time to strike. And – spoiler alert! – I’m betting that it’ll turn out to have been Kevin Spacey all along…I’m on to you, Spacey!

As reported by the New York Times earlier this week, there are more than five million computers out there that are part of the Conficker Army, which is sort of like a geekier version of the KISS Army (more RAM, less eyeliner). And while it’s not really doing anything yet, Conficker just continues to grow and grow, drunk on its own power, like a less-evil version of Ashton Kutcher’s twitter account. More interestingly, according to Wired’s “Threat Level” Blog, Conficker is possibly the work of “an intelligence agency with a grudge against China, Brazil, Russia and your parents.” I’ve got grudges against all those people, too. Way to get on board, Big C!

So to summarize: While Senator Kennedy’s death will no doubt end up being the big news story of the week, I urge you to keep your gaze forward, loyal readers. I too will miss having Mr. Kennedy working for the common good in the Senate (let’s honor him with a health care system that works!), but mourning over human beings is so 20th century. Evil shadowy bits of binary code are the wave of the future, and if you don’t start sucking up now, you might get left behind. Remember, Conficker: I had your back when every other major media outlet was trashing your good name. So be cool and don’t wreck my credit score, okay?

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