‘Malware Monday’ Arrives: Will DNSChanger Wreak Havoc?

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Servers kept in operation by the FBI to safeguard computer systems infected with a malware virus known as ‘DNSChanger’ were taken offline at 12:01 AM on Monday, according to a report from the Washington Post. And for thousands, the move could mean trouble getting online.

Although the malware initially hit four million online users, its numbers have since dropped to under 300 thousand, the BBC said on Monday, citing the DNS Changer Working Group’s statistics regarding the virus.

The statistical decrease occurred after the bureau pushed for users to make sure their systems weren’t infected by providing links to virus detection and removal tools. U.S. authorities charged six Estonians and one Russian in November with operating the scam which allegedly made the cyber criminals millions in illegal profits.

The malware had caused infected computer systems to rely on rogue DNS servers. At the time, simply pulling the plug on them would have immediately knocked millions of computers offline. So the FBI decided to buy some time and replace the rogue computer parts with legitimate servers (which are being pulled today).

Meanwhile, as Monday approached, Internet service providers stood ready to assist customers facing any issues. According to the Wall Street Journal, Comcast had already worked to contact infected customers while AT&T along with Verizon had plans in place to efficiently deal with the issue.

AT&T’s plan to help infected users even went so far as to operate its own hardware to help those infected. “We will operate legitimate domain-name servers through the end of the year, and that will give the very, very small number of customers whose computers may be affected time to remove it from their computer and avoid any service interruption,” commented AT&T representative Mark Siegel in the Wall Street Journal’s report.

Today’s web knockoffs are expected to be minimal. Even if your computer is infected and not operating smoothly, a fix by your ISP could be readily available.