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After 12 Years, Malware’s puzzling Nuisance Worm Conficker Refuses To Die
What ranks as history’s most successful malware? Depending on who you ask, the names that come up are usually destructive spectaculars such as NotPetya and WannaCry from 2017 or perhaps the panic-inducing SQL Slammer work from 14 years earlier.
It all depends what you mean by successful, of course, but my choice would be Conficker (aka downadup), a sophisticated 2008 Windows worm that threatened mayhem before disappearing not long after before anyone could fathom its true purpose.
After an initial surge where it co-opted from 10 to 15 million PCs, experts have tracked its slow declining path to an obscurity it still looks some way off reaching.