The Conficker internet worm’s feared April Fools’ Day throwdown for control of millions of infected PCs stirred lots of panic but came and went with a whimper, reports the Associated Press. Security experts say some Conficker-infected computers–those poisoned with the latest version of the worm–started "phoning home" for instructions more aggressively April 1, trying 50,000 internet addresses instead of 250. However, security companies monitoring the worm remained successful at blocking the communications. "We didn’t see anything that wasn’t expected," said Paul Ferguson, a security researcher at antivirus software maker Trend Micro Inc. "I’m glad April 1 happened to be a nonevent." The worm can take control of unsuspecting PCs running Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Tied together into a "botnet," these PCs can be directed to send spam, carry out identity-theft scams, and bring down web sites by flooding them with traffic.
That’s why the April 1 change in Conficker’s programming was a small twist–and not the end of the story. The network of Conficker-infected machines could still spring to life and be used for nefarious deeds…

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