You’ve probably heard – or more than likely will hear over the next few days – warnings of a potential Internet shut down on Monday, July 9, 2012. Thousands of computer users could lose access to the Internet due to a virus, DNSChanger, which once infected approximately 4 million computers globally.
Details about DNSChanger were first made public late last year when the FBI announced the arrest of the authors of the virus. The virus, as its name indicates, affects computers’ abilities to access the Internet’s DNS system – basically, the phone book for the Internet. The virus redirected unsuspecting users to fake DNS servers, which then sent the users to fake websites where the thieves profited from ads posted on those pages. Once the FBI arrested the cybercriminals, the Bureau built a safety net of new servers to redirect users away from those sites that were infected.
But, on Monday, July 9, that safety net of servers is going offline when the FBI shuts the sites down. That means that any computer that is still infected with the virus will lose access to the Internet unless the virus is removed from the machine.
If you do not have up-to-date anti-virus protection on your computers, the potential exists for you to be impacted. Here is a link where you can check whether your machine is safe and, if not, have it cleaned:
- Navigate to www.mcafee.com/dnscheck.
- Click on “Check Now” button to see if your computer has been infected.
- If your computer is infected, the website will take you through a process that will offer a free solution to get rid of the virus and update the Internet settings.
- If your computer is not infected, you will receive a “Congratulations, you are OK” screen and no further actions are needed. The computer’s Internet settings are up to date.
If you want additional information or would like assistance, please contact me at 703-652-4685 or via email.