PC World reports that variants of the Conficker worm were still active and spreading during the third quarter, accounting for much of attack traffic on the internet, according to Akamai Technologies. “Although mainstream and industry media coverage of the Conficker worm and its variants has dropped significantly since peaking in the second quarter, it is clear from this data that the worm (and its variants) is apparently still quite active, searching out new systems to infect,” Akamai said in its State of the Internet report for the third quarter of 2009, released Jan. 14. During the third quarter, 78 percent of internet attacks observed by Akamai targeted port 445, up from 68 percent during the previous quarter. Port 445, which is used by Microsoft Directory Services, is the same port that Conficker targets, aiming to exploit a buffer overflow vulnerability in Windows and infect the targeted computer…

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