(SOS/WTF/ASAP) Your desktop PC may be a lot smarter than you think! Computer detectives make news this week, with the sneaky secret life of your seemingly ordinary PC computer.
Is your desktop machine alive? Read on for this evolving story!
Microsoft detectives revealed this week that up to 20% of its computers come to life when you take them out of the box and plug them in. No tabulae rasae, these seemingly dumb desktop machines need no software installed to begin implementing a secret agenda, reaching out across the Internet for other machines to form a nefarious botnet.
The investigation by Microsoft’s digital crimes unit began in August 2011 as a study into the sale and distribution of counterfeit versions of Windows. Microsoft employees in China bought 20 new computers from retailers and took them back to a home with an Internet connection where they found 20% of the machines came to life without any instruction or software installed.
A virus called “Nitol” is suspected of propelling these seemingly innocent machines to life as part of a global botnet. The Nitol virus appears to have now reached its peak infection rate and is poised to strike.
Meanwhile how do you know if your computer has a secret criminal agenda? Before you report your beloved desktop to the Microsoft Malware police, start by asking the following questions:
1. Does your computer have suspicious friends around the world? Sure, every computer entertains a few shady companions from Nigeria or China or Canada but beyond these small time fraudsters and pill hucksters does your computer make secret calls to computers in China, Russia or the Cayman Islands?
2. Did you computer come pre-loaded with operating software from the manufacturer? This software could be counterfeit. Try validating your softward online at the Microsoft website and see if your computer runs for cover.
3. Does your computer like to hang out at suspicious websites like 3322.org? Or any other websites you have never visited?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you should definitely consider contacting the Microsoft police.
But before you click that final *submit* – consider the possible benefits of having a rogue computer to blame stuff on. Even more useful than a dog for blaming flatulence or unfinished homework on, a black sheep computer could actually save your life.
Not supposed to be online right now? Blame it on the computer. Been playing forbidden games? Not you! Probably the computer. Somebody ate the last cookie? Well we know who did that too. Until this whole Nitol thing is under control, anything is possible.