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How to Know If I Have a Conficker Worm on My PC

by Stephen Ip
  • Overview

    According to the Microsoft website, Win32/Conficker is a worm that takes advantage of a weakness in the Windows Server service to infect multiple Windows based computers across a local network. Once the worm has infected a computer, it turns off certain Windows system services and security features to allow for download of unwanted files and to infect additional machines. Users with symptoms of infections on their machines can scan for the worm using the Windows Live OneCare security scanner.
 
  • Step 1

    Launch Internet Explorer by clicking on its icon on the desktop or by clicking "Start" and selecting "Internet Explorer" from the "Programs" menu. Navigate to the Windows Live OneCare security scanner website.
  • Step 2

    Click on the "Full Service Scan" button after reviewing information about the scanner. Review the Service Agreement and click "Accept" to proceed.
  • Step 3

    Click "Install Now" to begin the installation process. If a message appears in the Information Bar with a warning about the installation, click on the message and select "Install This Add-on for All Users on This Computer." Click "Install" in the Security Warning pop-up window.
  • Step 4

    Click "Launch Scanner" after the installation process finishes. If a message appears in the Information Bar with a warning about running the add-on, click on the the message and select "Run Add-on." Click "Run" in the Security Warning pop-up window and "Start" at the next Windows Security pop-up window.
  • Step 5

    Click "Next" with the radio button selected for "Complete Scan" and wait for the scanning process to be completed. Once the scan is complete, information will be provided about any worms or virus found on your system. Read the information provided and follow the instructions to remove items found, including the Conficker worm, from your computer.
  • 3
  • Internet Explorer
  • Internet Explorer
  • While Microsoft recommends using Internet Explorer to download and install the security scanner, a link is provided at the security scanner website to install and run the software from Firefox. To use the security scanner with Firefox, click the "Special Instructions" link and follow the steps provided. The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool can be used to remove the Conficker worm from an infected machine.
  • While Microsoft recommends using Internet Explorer to download and install the security scanner, a link is provided at the security scanner website to install and run the software from Firefox. To use the security scanner with Firefox, click the "Special Instructions" link and follow the steps provided.
  • The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool can be used to remove the Conficker worm from an infected machine.
  • Depending on the size of the computer's hard drive, the complete scan can take several hours to complete.
  • Depending on the size of the computer's hard drive, the complete scan can take several hours to complete.

References & Resources