Asghari's team also had access to data from the Gameover Zeus botnet, a more recent one that was disrupted by law enforcement and researchers in June 2014.
Up to 10 percent of the computers infected with that malware were also infected with Conficker, showing that poorly secured computers can be continually abused.
Even if such vulnerable computers comprise a small percentage of the Internet, it still "turns into millions of computers," Asghari said.
The paper was also co-authored by Michael Ciere and Michel J.G. van Eeten, both of Delft University of Technology.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.