A computer virus which has infected millions of PCs could use April Fool’s Day to wreak havoc on the internet.
The Conficker virus has infected more than 10million PCs worldwide and could cripple computers across the UK tomorrow.
Experts have warned that the worm could be used to steal credit card numbers and passwords, or even bring down websites like Google by using an army of ‘robot PCs’.
The virus targets computers running Microsoft’s Windows software and has spread to millions over the past several months, infecting machines on Royal Navy warships and inside the House of Commons.
Tomorrow, on April Fool’s Day, the virus is programmed to check a randomly generated number of websites for ‘instructions’ on what the infected computers should do next.
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If they were told to simultaneously connect to a single website, the network of infected ‘robot computers’ known as Botnets could knock it offline by deluging it with hits.
Botnets have been used in the past to generate millions of pieces of spam email and to blackmail websites by threatening to temporarily knock them out.
Experts fear that the bug could be programmed to trigger an attack on the internet – rendering email, banking and other systems unusable.