FBI: Will You Lose Your Internet Access Monday?
Here's how to check if you have this malware on your computer.
If you still have a pesky trojan malware on your computer by Monday, July 9, say goodbye to your Internet access, the FBI warns. Both Windows and Mac users are at risk; Linux users and smart phone and tablet users are safe, Forbes reports.
The specific trojan malware, or "malicious software," is known as “DNS Changer,” which was discovered in 2007 and infected millions of computers globally.
Visit the DNS Changer Working Group’s website to see if your computer is infected and to find out how to remove the malware.
"Everyone should check to see if their computer is infected," urged Paula Fleming, spokesperson for the local Better Business Bureau, in a press release. "It takes less than a minute to check and, if your equipment is clean, there is nothing more you need to do. If your computer is infected, the DNS Changer Working Group recommends the necessary steps to save your computer. But this must be done by July 9 or you could lose Internet access."
So how did the DNS Changer claw its way into millions of computers?
Every time you search the Internet, you trigger the Domain Name System, which turns a domain name like Lexington.Patch.com into an Internet Protocol (IP) address so other computers can identify you on the network, basically your computer’s GPS for the internet.
The malware DNS servers would change your search to give fake answers and promote fake and dangerous products, according to the DNS Changer Working Group, the organization created to monitor the malware and help infected users.
The FBI worked with Estonian police to seize the servers that contained the spamming malware, but didn’t shut them down so the infected computers could still run, Forbes reported.
The servers were scheduled to be shut down in March, but a court ruling extended the shutdown date to July 9, according to the BBB press release.
On July 9, the servers will be turned off and computers still infected with the malware will lose Internet access.
The BBB press release said that the FBI estimates there are about 360,000 infected computers remaining in a dozen countries, including the U.S. and Canada.