A devastating computer virus is set to wreak havoc on computers today, as the ‘Conficker’ virus takes effect on thousands of machines in Ireland and worldwide.
PC makers are warning users worldwide not to switch on their machines for 24 hours, as the rogue ‘time bomb’ program is designed to cause computers and monitors to overheat with devastating results.
Risks from the malware include spontaneous fires and radiation exposure due to ionic electron overflow, experts warned.
Ionic electron overflow has always been a risk in computing, but new advances in miniaturisation and plasma screen technology have been exploited by the virus, according to one researcher.
Latest figures now suggest up to 20% of computers worldwide may be affected.
Fire control protocol software patches have been issued by Microsoft, and can be installed on computers to reduce the risk.
Other precautions include installing cooling fans near computer facilities, and turning down home heating systems.
Online activities should be kept to a minimum, with brief email messages sent only if absolutely necessary, and kept to a maximum of two hundred words.
Local computer stores are advising all computer users to make sure they do not switch on their computers today, April First.