TORONTO — The authority responsible for Canadian Internet domains, or website names ending with the suffix .ca, is blocking access to certain unregistered names in the hope of beating a new computer worm before it has a chance to cause havoc on April 1.
The worm, known as Conficker, began infecting computers around the world late last year.
Once infected, the computers can be incorporated into a sort of mesh that results in a very powerful single entity called a botnet.
Botnets can be used to do everything from transmitting viruses to sending out massive amounts of spam.
On April 1, the infected computers are expected to try to contact an as-yet-undiscovered control centre by logging on to thousands of Internet domain names, one of which will be the control hub.
Byron Holland, president and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, said he believes Conficker is the first worm to target the domain-name system.
The malicious piece of code has already prompted the French military to ground some fighter planes, while Microsoft has offered $250,000 for information leading to the code’s authors.