By Raaj Datta
The malware spells doomsday for thousands of Internet users. DNSChanger check tool can help you save yourself. You can check status of your PC on McAfee
Starting Monday, thousands of computers infected worldwide with the deadly DNS Changer virus will lose access to the Internet. Those affected are the computers that were infected with malicious software last year.
FBI had then routed the Internet access of the computers through some servers as a temporary safety net. These servers will now be taken out following the expiration of a court order that let the infected computers go online for the past eight months.
The root cause of the problem started with a ring of international hackers running an online advertising scam that infected tens of thousands of computers last year. On realizing that turning off the malicious servers could result in a blackout for the infected computers, FBI brought in a private company to set Internet servers to route the malicious traffic to avoid the sudden blackout.
These replacement servers will shut down at midnight EDT Monday, affecting computers all of a sudden. Search giant Google, social networking giant Facebook, and even FBI have been warning netizens about the problem and leading them to fixes.
According to experts, more than 250,000 computers are infected, spanning more than twelve countries including USA, Germany, Italy, Canada, Britain, France, India and Australia.
What is DNS Changer?
As the name suggests, DNS Changer is a malware that attacks a user’s DNS settings and modifies it as per the hacker’s requirements.
The infected computers are automatically directed to fraudulent websites as well as phishing websites which in turn generate revenue for the hackers. FBI says that the hackers most preferably try to generate revenue from online ads that are published on the directed websites. Reports suggest that a group of one Russian and six Estonians hackers are behind the attack. The malware has been around since 2007.
How to check if your computer is on the list?
FBI has designed a simple tool to test whether your computer too is infected or not. Users can log on to http://bit.ly/FBI-checker for the purpose. There are other tools as well, but experts hint at the FBI one to be more authentic.
Remedial measure in case your computer is affected
As a remedial measure, users can clean their computers as soon as possible. There are a number of security programs users can deploy for the purpose, including Microsoft Essentials. Paid antivirus programs like MacAfee, Kaspersky and others are also equally able solutions to secure your computer from the DNS Changer or any other malware.
In case your computer is affected with the DNS Changer malware and you haven’t cleaned the system yet, chances are that you might not be able to access the Internet from Monday. The Internet Doomsday might last forever for your computer, or may be a solution might come up soon enough – which of course might be at the cost of your data!
The Future course
The sudden shutdown due to the DNS Changer malware once again emphasises on securing your computer with security programs. There might be even more serious threats to computers lurking in the dark that might steal not just your Internet access, but your valuable data and even your hard-earned money. Be alert!