Accessibility links

Breaking News

Computer Virus Could Leave Thousands Unable to Use Internet

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world could be in for an unwelcome surprise Monday, unless they check their computers now for malware that infected their machines a year ago.

The virus caused by Eastern European computer hackers will make it impossible to access the Internet.

DNSChanger Malware

  • DNS is Domain Name System, an Internet service that translates user friendly domain names into numerical IP addresses
  • DNS and DNS servers are necessary to access websites and send e-mail.
  • Criminals who control a user's DNS server can control the sites that user connects to on the Internet.
  • The DNSChanger malware lets criminals infect computers.
  • The malware replaces user's DNS server settings with servers operated by the criminal.
Source: FBI
Facebook and Google, websites used by billions of people every day, are alerting users who they suspect may have infected computers. They also provide information on what people can do to fix the problem.

The hackers used an online advertising scam to take control of nearly 600,000 computers last year, harvesting information about users and directing them to fraudulent websites.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation smashed the computer ring and temporarily set up two Internet servers so that users can remain on line.

But that temporary fix will be closed down at 0401 UTC Monday.

Along with Facebook, Google and some global computer security firms, the FBI can provide information on how to find out if your computer is infected and how it can be fixed.

Some information for this report provided by AP.