Computer virus may strike today

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A nasty computer virus is expected to ramp up its efforts today -- April Fools Day.

Experts say the Conficker worm is no joke. It can hijack computers even without users noticing.

But there are easy ways to figure out whether a computer has the Conficker worm. There are also free tools to get rid of it.

Among other things, the worm blocks PCs from accessing the antivirus vendors' and Microsoft's Web sites. That keeps its PC victims from getting updates about the worm and downloading removal tools.

If you can surf the Internet freely except for sites owned by Microsoft or antivirus vendors, that's a good sign your computer is infected.

The best remedy is to have a friend whose computer is not infected. The friend will be able to download a removal tool and e-mail it to you.

A list of the free Conficker removal programs is available on the Web site of the Conficker Working Group, an alliance of companies fighting the worm. To visit that website, click here.

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