Updated 21 May, 2013, 4:26 pm IST
ISPs to offer technical help to tackle DNSChanger-caused Internet shutdown
| by Anuradha Shetty |
Today is when the FBI-sought deadline to the kill date ends, and according to reports, Internet providers plan to help their customers with technical solutions, while there are other customers who 'are braced for calls to helplines', even as those across the U.S. with systems infected with the dreaded DNSChanger virus for over a year worry that they may not be able to access the Internet now. Reportedly, the FBI planned to shut shut down the temporary servers that they had put up to allow those with infected systems to have Internet access at 12.01 a.m. EDT on July 9 for the past eight months. Tom DeGrasso, an FBI supervisory special agent was quoted by reports as saying that some providers may help with technical solutions that will fix the server problem affecting some PCs after midnight EDT Sunday. He adds, that if they do so, the Internet will work, 'but the malware will remain on victims' computers and could pose future problems.'
ISPs to help
ISPs to help
The reports further point that - "Many computer users don't understand the complex machines they use every day to send email, shop, and cruise for information. The cyberworld of viruses, malware, bank fraud and Internet scams is often distant and confusing, and warning messages may go unseen or unheeded. Also, some people simply don't trust the government, and believe that federal authorities are only trying to spy on them or take over the Internet. Blogs and other Internet forums are riddled with postings warning of the government using the malware as a ploy to breach American citizens' computers. That's a charge the FBI and other cybersecurity experts familiar with the malware quickly denounce as ridiculous."
July 9 is the date when roughly half a million people will lose access to the Internet, following the FBI shutting down temporary DNS servers affecting those that have been hit by the dreaded DNSChanger virus. In November of 2011, the FBI had identified and located a ring of cyber criminals who managed to infect more that 4 million computers globally using a Trojan called DNSChanger. The virus managed to break into both personal and corporate PCs and redirected the computers to a host of DNS services, which led web searches to malicious websites. Starting from 2007, the criminals employed DNSChanger to infect roughly 4 million PCs in over 100 countries. In the U.S. alone, there were about 500,000 such infections. These also included systems belonging to individuals, businesses, and government agencies such as NASA. Reportedly, the cyber criminals managed to 'manipulate' Internet advertising and as a result generated approximately $14 million in 'illicit fees'. Referred to as 'clickjacking', they led a user with an infected system to believe that they are clicking on a website, but users instead were led to websites with fraud ads, enabling the rogues to get the click revenue stream.
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