Internet addicts beware! The FBI will be blocking tens of thousands of users today from using the internet due to a serious threat from a virus called ‘DNS Changer.’ Check out the details here and find out what to do if you are affected by this…
If you cannot get on the internet today, there may be a good reason why – the FBI might be shutting you down. The U.S. law enforcement agency will be blocking up to 500,000 users around the world who have a malicious program installedon their computer. It will affect anyone who inadvertently downloaded a piece of ‘malware’ called DNSChanger, which redirects users to fake advertising websites.
Internet providers have plans to help their customers on Monday and others are braced for calls to helplines because thousands around the country whose computers were infected with malicious software more than a year ago faced the possibility of not being able to get online. The FBI is taking the unusual step in a bid to shut down DNSChanger, thought to have been created by Eastern European cyber-criminals. It is not known how many computers in the UK are affected, but 12 per cent of the top 500 U.S. companies are said to have infected PCs or Macs.
Some providers may put technical solutions in place that will correct the server problem that could hit some computers after midnight EDT Sunday. It they do, the Internet will work, but the malware will remain on victims’ computers and could pose future problems, said Tom DeGrasso, an FBI supervisory special agent.
The FBI arranged for a private company to run a website – http://www.dcwg.org – as a place where computer users could go to see if their computer was infected and find links to other computer security business sites where they could find fixes for the problem.
From the onset, most victims didn’t even know their computers were infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems. Many computer users don’t understand the complex machines they use every day to send email, shop, and cruise for information. The cyberworld of viruses, malware, bank fraud and Internet scams is often distant and confusing, and warning messages may go unseen or unheeded.
Marcin Kleczynski, chief executive of Malwarebytes, which makes a free piece of software designed to remove the malware, said:
‘The FBI left the criminal servers running to give infected users time to remove this piece of malware, however it is estimated there are still hundreds of thousands of people who just don’t know they are infected. Monday is D-day because anyone who still has this piece of malware on their computer simply won’t be able to access the internet.
This means people will struggle to repair the problem because they won’t be able to download removal tools or access information through the infected laptop or computer. The total cost could be significant.’
A FBI spokesman said:
‘We’ve been using the last eight months to go out and clean up the infected computers, but we don’t have everybody.’
Experts are taking the warning seriously, but in reference to the Millennium Bug which supposedly threatened to shut Britain down, one blogger wrote:
‘Yet another ploy to get everyone freaked out…remember Y2K.’
There is an underlying sense that this will be much ado about nothing, such as the approach of 2000. The transition to that year presented technical problems and fears that some computers would stop working because they were not set up for the date change. In the end there were very few problems.
FBI officials have been tracking the number of computers they believe still may be infected by the malware. As of Wednesday, there were about 45,600 in the U.S. – nearly 20,000 less than a week ago. Worldwide, the total is roughly 250,000 infected. The numbers have declined steadily, and recent efforts by Internet service providers may limit the problems on Monday.
If you see your computer isn’t functioning properly throughout the day today, customer support lines could be your best solution.
THE SIMPLE STEPS TO STAY SAFE
If you are worried about the impending meltdown, follow these steps:
1) Visit this FBI-approved site – http://www.dns-ok.us – and see if you get an ‘all-clear’ green background or an ‘at risk’ red background.
2) If you have a red background, visit http://www.dcwg.org/fix which lists free virus scanner and removal software.
Our personal recommendations from the free range are Microsoft Windows Defender and Avira.
For more information, visit here: http://www.dcwg.org/detect/
s/o to mdls and mail online for this info..