After months of hype and, admit it it, hysteria, the Conficker worm has finally been getting getting down to work, spewing spam and pushing popups warning that the user's computers are infected (Ya think?) with viruses.The initial moves to monetizing the widespread Conficker worm appear to be in process, with infected machines becoming spam generators and popup scareware warnings prodding users to pop up $49.95 for phony Spyware Protect Anti-virus software.
One lesson here -- other than not to respond to phony anti-virus pop-ups -- is that the makers of the Internet-killer, as some mass media types labeled Conficker, are as mundane in their approaches to making money from their malware as are most cybercriminals. (Why do something dramataic when you can make plenty of bucks from the gullibility of plenty of Internet users?)
But the bigger lesson is that despite the largest amount of attention paid to a worm in years, and maybe ever, with widespread advice and tools for removing it, Conficker continues to infect millions of computers.
Which is another way of explaining why, as Conficker sets about turning itself into a spam and scarewware cash machine, the makers of the worm are using their innovative worm in routine moneymaking ways.