Computers Infected with 'DNSChanger' Malware May Have Internet Trouble This Summer

April 23, 2012 -

A dramatic story making the rounds claims that if "you don't have your computer malware free by July 9th the FBI will shut your computer down." As Techland points out, the story has roots in a small bit of reality but reporting on it has been a little bit overblown. The story originates all the way back to 2007, when malware called DNSChanger managed to infect millions of computers around the world. DNSChanger targeted Windows or Mac systems by manipulating Domain Name Servers (DNS) and DNS routing. When a computer became infected the malware would redirect DNS requests to servers controlled by an internet crime ring, which then served up web ads to users. Criminals using this malware managed to rake in millions of dollars. Eventually law enforcement in several countries figured out where the Malware came from and who was using it.

The FBI, working with Estonian officials, was able to track down the criminals behind the Malware - six Estonian nationals were arrested for the crime last November. The FBI also seized their servers but because the Malware had infected so many computers around the world, they decided to leave it running with the ads neutralized.

The FBI then secured a court order on March 12, 2012 that authorized the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to roll out and maintain temporary clean DNS servers. But the FBI can't run these servers forever (read: pay for them) so the plan is to shut them off on July 9, 2012. When that happens, DNS-related Internet activity on those computers still infected will cease to function.

If you want to see if your computer is infected with this malware, visit this FBI page and follow the instructions.


Comments

Re: Computers Infected with 'DNSChanger' Malware May Have ...

Morons. Instead of just replacing the wrong DNS servers with normal ones they could have instead just make a site appear describing how to get rid of the malware. That way this whole "by summer bla bla" problem wouldn't have occurred in the first place.

Re: Computers Infected with 'DNSChanger' Malware May Have ...

The comments on some of the news articles about this are priceless.

"This is nothing but a false flag operation so Obama can have a way to shut down the internet!!!" Is the basic idea.

Re: Computers Infected with 'DNSChanger' Malware May Have ...

Seriously, some people have zero critical thinking. If the president wanted a way to take out the internet, there's a lot of effective things he could do. Some cursory research in how Iran or Egypt did it would give him a starting place, and there's plenty of experts in the government, academia, and the private sector who would help implement it with a bit of taxpayer palm grease.

This virus isn't one of those things. A major botnet maybe (Storm could have theoretically done it at its peak), but not a simple browser hijack. A few thousand people will be without internet, and they'll all take their computers in and pay $30 for a virus cleaning, and they'll all be fine. No collateral damage, no particular difficulty in detecting or removing it. If this is Obama's supersecretmuslimsocialistnazi plan to destroy the internet, then his plan to destroy Wall Street would be to carpet bomb it with popcorn.

Re: Computers Infected with 'DNSChanger' Malware May Have ...

Many of them really need to live in a real dictatorship for a few months

 

If they're not somehow making these posts fro man internment camp that somehow has internet, then the president is not a dictator

 
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