Not Removing Malware Could Cause Internet Downtime for Some in July

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – Think you might have major malware problems on your computer system? If the answer is yes, there’s no better time than now to fix them. Come July, some online users could have a problem accessing websites, and it all spawns from a temporary fix enacted by the FBI following the takedown of a major virus scam in November.

During the course of 2010 and 2011, the bureau investigated a platform launched by cyber criminals known as DNSChanger. Acting as malware, it was based off of “rogue” DNS servers, redirecting users to fake websites disguised as the real thing.

“When users of infected computers clicked on the link for the official website of iTunes, for example, they were instead taken to a website for a business unaffiliated with Apple Inc. that purported to sell Apple software,” stated the FBI in a November press release detailing the matter.

Some users of the sites were tricked into phony transactions, making cyber criminals millions in illegal profits. The virus’s range was vast, affecting up to four million users worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 500 thousand were hit.

As the FBI circled in on the cyber criminals, how to go about fixing the problem remained a bit tricky. Simply pulling the plug on the rogue DNS servers would simply render still infected computer systems useless when it came to accessing the web. The best route? Buy some more time for users to remove the malware by temporarily replacing the rogue DNS servers with legitimate ones.

Meanwhile, U.S. authorities have set July ninth as the date to pull the temporary servers keeping systems infected with the virus stable. If the malware DNSChanger remains on computers, those systems could have problems visiting online sites.

DNS services play a pivotal role in the area of online web browsing. They allow users to visit sites by acting as communicators, translating web addresses into IP codes. Meanwhile, the FBI is asking users to make sure their DNS settings are stable before the July deadline. That can be seen through a service provided for here (forms.fbi.gov).

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