Conficker worm threat spread by basic password failure

A recent report by software leader Microsoft has found that the threat posed by the Conficker worm has continued to grow in 2012.The Security Intelligence Report volume 12 issued by the Trustworthy Computing division shows that the malware has been detected over 220 million times in the past two years.This is especially troubling for enterprises, as the Conficker worm has been noted to make use of common or weak administrative passwords to gain access to a system where it can begin to infect every machine on a network.The malware carries with it a set of hard-coded examples of simple codes and terms – including ‘admin’, ‘12345’, ‘coffee’ and ‘password’.Perhaps the most tragic side to the botnet dilemma is that it could be avoided with the use of a basic security audit, according to the head of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing division Tim Rains, who said that many organisations “are running on weak passwords” and failing to patch their systems regularly.”Conficker is one of the biggest security problems we face, yet it is well within our power to defend against,” asserted Mr Rains.”It is critically important that organisations focus on the security fundamentals to help protect against the most common threats