The computer world is bracing itself for the latest virus, one so menacing that Microsoft has offered a reward of a quarter of a million dollars
for tracking down its creator, which some experts believe will strike on Wednesday.


The Conficker virus is reported to have infected 10 million computers and experts think the April 1 is D-Day. Just what the virus is going to do is not entirely known, ABC Online reported on Tuesday.

On April 1 a master computer is scheduled to gain control of these zombie machines, said Don DeBolt, director of threat research for CA, a New York-based IT company.

The program could delete all of the files on a person’s computer, use zombie PCs — those controlled by a master — to overwhelm and shut down websites or monitor a person’s keyboard strokes to collect private information like passwords or bank account information, experts said. More likely, though, said DeBolt, the virus may try to get computer users to buy fake software or spend money on other phony products.

Symantec warns that on Wednesday, Conficker “will simply start taking more steps to protect itself.”

After April 1, machines infected with the new Conficker strain may not be able to get security updates from Microsoft and other security products vendors, it says.