DNSChanger Malware – What Is It and Am I Affected

Unless you have your head in the sand, you have heard about the DNSChanger Malware and how you may be affected on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 12:01 AM. You don’t have to panic, but you do need to take action to ensure that you are not infected.  If you are infected, there are steps you can take to fix your computer.

What Is DNSChanger Malware And What Does It Do?

Some international hackers, “Rove Digital”, ran a scam to take control of thousands of computers.  This malware modifies your DNS settings to use malicious servers that point you to fake sites in Estonia, New York and Chicago.  Your internet searches are altered and you are directed to altered versions of sites on the Internet. It can also modify settings on home routers.  DNS is the Domain Name System that translates human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. Currently, it is believed that approximately 570,000 computers are still infected.

How Is the FBI Involved with DNSChanger Malware?

The FBI  took down the servers in November 2011; however, they had to implement an interim fix.  If they just turned off the servers, all of the infected victims would lose access to the internet.  A safety net of servers was set up to take over for the malicious servers.  The DNS Change Working Group (DCWG) was established to monitor the DNS servers run by the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) under court order. This court order expires on Monday, July 9, 2012 at 12:01 AM which means these temporary servers would be shut down.  If you are affected by this malware, you will not have internet access on Monday.

Am I Affected by the DNSChanger Malware?

Go to http://www.dns-ok.us to see if you are infected.  You will see a green square if your computer is resolving IP addresses correctly. There is no software to download, no changes are made to your computer and there is no scanning to perform the check.  If you are infected, you can go to http://www.dcwg.org/fix.

More Information About DNSChanger Malware

For further information, you can also read this article produced by the FBI, http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/november/malware_110911/DNS-changer-malware.pdf.

 


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