Malware to Knock 277,000 People Off Internet on Monday: Make Sure You’re Not One of Them
Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 6, 2012
So this isn’t one of our normal political posts, but it’s important for all our readers. Click here to test your computer (the test is instantaneous and takes literally one second). Make sure you’re not one of the 277,000 Internet users worldwide who will lose Internet access on Monday, due to a malware infection.
Hundreds of thousands of Internet users whose computers are infected with a particularly nasty virus will be unable to access the Web starting on Monday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation will shut down Internet servers that it temporarily set up to support those affected by malicious software, called DNSChanger. Turning off those servers will knock all those still infected offline.
Over the past five years, a group of six Estonian cybercriminals infected about 4 million computers around the world with DNSChanger. The malware redirected infected users’ Web searches to spoofed sites with malicious advertisements.
From the LA Times:
The problem is a result of a large online advertising scam that took over more than 4 million computers around the world.
When the FBI went in to shut down the scheme, the agency realized that turning off the malicious servers would cause infected computers to lose access to the Internet. So the FBI set up two other servers, which have been connecting infected users to the Internet, but they will be shut down on July 9 at 12:01 a.m. EDT.
As a result, 277,000 computer users worldwide as well as about 50 Fortune 500 companies could be affected by the shutdown, according to a report by the Associated Press.