Your computer or laptop maybe infected with malware that may block ability to connect to internet! On Monday July 9, 2012 many unsuspecting computer users may not be able to connect to the internet due to the DNS Changer malware according to the FBI.
First, do not panic as we examine the who, what, why and how to fix it. This computer situation is like an International digital crime spree. In November 2009, several arrests were made in connection with a huge spam network that would hijack a computer and change legitimate websites that you visited to those that contained ads, phishing and other sites used to get money from the innocent visitors. In remarks prepared by Assistant Director in Charge, Janice K. Fedarcyk on Major Cyber Investigation, some of the scams perpetrated on hijacked computers went as follows:
- They victimized legitimate website operators and advertisers who missed out on income through click hijacking and ad replacement fraud.
- Unwitting customers of the defendants’ sham publisher networks were paying for Internet traffic from computer users who had not intended to view or click their ads.
- Users involuntarily routed to Internet ads may well have harbored discontent with those businesses, even though the businesses were blameless.
- And then there is the harm to the users of the hijacked computers. The DNSChanger malware was a virus more akin to an antibiotic-resistant bacterium. It had a built-in defense that blocked anti-virus software updates. And it left infected computers vulnerable to other malware.
It is estimated that over 4 million computers were infected with this DNSChanger malware said to have come from six individuals working primarily from Estonia and Russia when the arrests were made. The FBI press release can be found here.
Now, why you may not be able to connect to the internet on July 9, 2012 is that a firewall of sorts was installed by the FBI to protect computer users from the vast infection that replaced rogue DNS servers with clean DNS servers to help keep millions online. While the firewall servers were up ISPs were given time to clean up infected DNS servers and assiste any users that may have been harmed by this DNSChanger malware. Well, on Monday July 9, 2012 the FBI will unplug their clean DNS servers used to backup the ISPs’ servers in hopes that they have taken all of the necessary steps to remedy any infected DNS servers they may have. Without knowing if All of infected DNS servers were fixed, the FBI has alerted computer users that after the firewall is unplugged, they may not be able to connect to the internet.
*UPDATED* How to check if your computer is infected with DNSChanger malware that may block you from accessing the internet on Monday July 9, 2012, go to DNSChanger Malware Test Site . If you find that there are DNSChanger infections on your computer as indicated on this site, Go to http://www.dcwg.org/fix/ and follow the instructions. Make sure you have the latest update to your antivirus software or get an antivirus program like AVG Anti-Virus and run full system scan. However, if further assistance is needed, feel free to contact us.
We have seen a number of computers that were infected with malware and viruses that prevented access to the internet that disguised as anti virus software as mentioned in some of our earlier posts here. For more information, DNSChanger Malware.