Editorial note: OpenDNS now provides comprehensive malware and botnet protection for businesses and schools. Learn more.

By now you’ve likely heard the speculation that April 1, April Fools Day, is the date Conficker kicks into action. And unfortunately this isn’t a joke. The virus, also known as Downadup, leverages a known vulnerability in the Windows OS and has the potential to do some serious damage. Some estimates for number of machines infected so far are as high as 15 million. The Internet is abuzz with news about the virus and predictions about what it will do.

As your DNS provider of choice, we’re in a unique and advantageous position to help keep our users safe. OpenDNS has kept our users safe from Conficker for the past several months by blocking the domains it uses to phone home. (We’ve seen lots of you start using our service to protect your networks from the worm.)

The latest variant of Conficker is now churning through 50,000 domains per day in an attempt to thwart blocking attempts. Consider this: at any given time we have filters that hold well over 1,000,000 domains (when you combine our phishing and domain tagging filters). 50,000 domains a day isn’t going to rock the boat.

So here’s our update: OpenDNS will continue to identify the domains, all 50,000, and block them from resolving for all OpenDNS users. This means even if the virus has penetrated machines on your network, its rendered useless because it cannot connect back to the botnet. If you want to disinfect your computer we recommend you check out the tools from our friends over at Kaspersky Lab.

If you’re already using OpenDNS, you’re all set. We’re protecting you automatically. If you’re not yet, simply set up a free account here and secure your network.

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