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Thousands in US could be blocked from Internet access

Posted March 5, 2012

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— Internet access for millions of people could be blocked this week because of a computer virus that users might not even know they have.

In November, the FBI arrested six Estonian hackers accused of running an Internet fraud ring that infected approximately 4 million computers in more than 100 countries, including about 500,000 in the United States.

The malware, called DNSChanger Trojan, hijacks computers when users type a Web address in their Internet browser and manipulates their Web activity. The FBI reported that the hackers generated at least $14 million in illicit fees related to online advertising.

virus Computer virus could block Internet for thousands

The international cyber ring was dismantled and its servers were shut down. The FBI subsequently had a private company run identical servers for four months in an effort to help get infected computers cleaned.

That arrangement ends Thursday, and computers still infected then might not be able to get on the Web on March 9.

Avoiding that is simple. Users can go to http://dns-ok.us to determine if their computer is infected with the DNSChanger Trojan. An up-to-date virus scan should resolve the problem, if a computer is infected.

26 Comments

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  • Dave_53 Mar 7, 10:40 a.m.

    "Actually, the DNS hijacker could take over routers (changing the firmware on a lot of the consumer firewalls) - And those run Linux. Simply saying "I am immune" doesn't hack it when most of the exploits are java and Flash based these days."

    I'm going to assume that you failed your Security class as well as your Networking class. Drop/Ad is a wonderful thing :)

  • Dave_53 Mar 7, 10:34 a.m.

    "I run Linux instead of Windows so never have to worry about viruses."

    You obviously have no clue how a DNS attack is executed. It doesn't matter what OS you use. If you connect to the internet and type in a URL, you're vulnerable.

  • JohnnyMcRonny Mar 6, 4:15 p.m.

    "I ve never used any antivirus programs on any of the computers in my LAN nor have I ever had any intrusion of any sort." - fayncmike

    As far as you know.

    Having no AV software at all is just plain vanilla stupid. You could have a myriad of malware on your computers that merrily do their thing while you play obliviously in la-la land.

  • Raptor06 Mar 6, 1:22 p.m.

    What no conspiracy theories that this is just a test of Obama's internet kill switch?...baracus

    Don't worry, the day is still young. I'm sure it will come.

  • dib Mar 6, 11:36 a.m.

    @Disabled Vet - Sorry but Mac's are infected with this too. People who buy macs thinking they will never get a virus just don't understand very well what a virus is. I don't get viruses and I run windows. PS a mac is a PC if you don't think so then you don't understand what a PC is.

  • as400_guru Mar 6, 10:08 a.m.

    We never had these internet problems back in the punch card days.

  • baracus Mar 6, 9:41 a.m.

    What no conspiracy theories that this is just a test of Obama's internet kill switch?

  • love2dostuff Mar 6, 9:40 a.m.

    For all of you that see green and clicked on the attached link:

    Thanks for all the information on your hard drive.

  • Disabled Vet Mar 6, 9:37 a.m.

    That's why I am glad that I am a "Mac" person. I have been running the same notebook for over 10 years with absoutely NO problems! The same with my iPad. I even broke down and got a "mini Mac" for the house.

    But I checked just the same:-)

  • smegma Mar 6, 8:59 a.m.

    billblomgren, you just said the virus could take over routers and change the firmware of firewalls. stop pretending to be an expert

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