How to remove the Conficker worm from your home computer
There has been a worldwide outbreak of a highly infective computer virus that exploits Windows based operating systems: the Conficker worm. The University network has been affected by this outbreak. There is a serious concern that personal data may be compromised. This includes login and password information, patient data, student data, credit card numbers, etc. Staff and faculty, please also work with your department computer administrators with regard to University-owned computers and peripherals. If you have questions, contact the main campus Help Desk at 801-581-4000 or the Health Sciences Help Desk at 801-587-6000.
There are three steps that home users must follow in order to clean their computers of the Conficker virus and also prevent re-infection of the University network:
- Clean out the Conficker virus with this tool from Symantec which will run an executable file.
- Manually update and re-run an effective antivirus tool on your machine (the Conficker virus disables antivirus software when it is present, and so your software must be updated with the most recent virus definitions and re-run manually in order to check for other viruses that may have infected your machine)
- Scan your peripherals through your antivirus software. Any of the following peripherals can re-infect your machine (and the University
network) and MUST be cleaned: thumb drives (USB drives), iPods and iPhones, external storage drives, digital cameras, and any other devices that connect to your computer and show up as a drive.
There are many antivirus tools that are available for home use. If you have one installed, we recommend that you check the vendor's website to ensure that the software has the most recent definitions and is effective against Conficker. If you do not have antivirus software installed, you have several options:
- If you have Comcast broadband, you have free access to McAfee here.
- There are several free anti-virus tools for home use. We have tested the Symantec tool and can confirm that it is effective against Conficker. Open and run the Symantec executable file.
- University of Utah Students can download McAfee anti-virus for free and staff and faculty pay a low fee through the Software Licensing website: McAfee Virus Scan Enterprise.
If you have questions, contact the main campus Help Desk at 801-581-4000 or the Health Sciences Help Desk at 801-587-6000.
Check to see if you are infected by using the Conficker eye chart. Note: Access to this page is restricted to the utah.edu domain, and some uen.org, machines.