Conficker’s impact on Google Search

No, don’t worry – I’m not saying that Conficker has some secret payload that interferes with Google. :)

Instead I wanted to point out how a hystericane (also known as a hysteria hurricane, or a frenzy generated by a media storm) about a virus can lead to lots of people searching for information on Google.

Here are the Google Trend results for Conficker in the last month:

Conficker searches on Google

It’s certainly ramping up, isn’t it? Clearly, as the media has published (sometimes hysterical) stories about Conficker and April 1st more and more people have turned to internet search engines to find out more information.

And it’s not just Google Search, if you check out Twitter you’ll find constant tweets as users warn each other that they must protect their systems “before tomorrow”, little realising that actually you need to protect yourself against Conficker every day of the year – and there’s no guarantee that anything significant will happen at all on April 1st.

If you are searching the web for information on Conficker, please be careful not to download a clean-up tool from a vendor you’ve never heard of before. Some criminals are promoting bogus Conficker removal tools and have set up professional-looking websites to scam the unwary.

You would be much wiser to download a tool from an established vendor, direct from their own website. Hey, like our free Conficker clean-up tool for instance. :)

More information about Conficker:

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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