Remember the DNSChanger malware, which hijacked good DNS servers with rogue servers, redirecting users to webpages filled with advertisements in order to generate illegal profits -- will according to Federal Bureau of Investigations, target approximately 300,000 computers on Monday July 9 morning -- resulting in the "loss of Internet connectivity."
Relax. It affects only a small number of the millions of Internet users in the U.S.
The six Estonian hackers behind DNSChanger netted over $14 million! prior to being arrested by the FBI in November of 2011. The sophisticated online fraud scheme infected more than 4 million computers in more than 100 countries.
At least 500,000 computers were in the United States, including some belonging to agencies such as NASA, educational institutions, businesses, nonprofits organizations and people.
On July 9, the FBI will be shutting down the servers that scammers used to make money off your misdirection. If your computer's DNS server address has been redirected to the scammers' servers by this malware, you won't be able to go anywhere online and you might not easily figure out what's up, reports LA Times.
So here's some guidance on what you need to do before July 9:
- Go to the DNS Changer Check-Up site, which will give you either a green all-clear screen or a red background indicating malware infection. The checkup site notes that, "if your ISP is redirecting DNS traffic for its customers you would have reached this site even though you are infected."
- If you are presented with a green background (see above picture), your computer is free of malware. If you are presented with a red background, your computer is infected with the DNSChanger malware.
- If your computer is infected, simply visit the "Fix" page and follow the removal instructions or install one of the free malware removal tools.
- If you are experiencing an Internet connectivity problem after July 9th and you suspect your computer is infected, you should contact your ISP for assistance.