Where would we be without the Internet? It has become such an integral part of our everyday lives that today, many businesses would literally be lost without it. Those business leaders – and individuals, too – whose computers have been infected with the DNS Changer virus will lose Internet access after Jul. 9, 2012 if they don’t act fast and fix the problem.
You may recall that the FBI, back in November 2011, began warning people about the DNSChanger virus that allowed Estonian-based hackers to gain control of people’s computers and redirect close to 600,000 unsuspecting victims to websites with bogus software or money-making advertisements. Two “symptoms” of the virus include a sluggish Web browser and an inability to update, activate or install security software.
You may also recall that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) used government computers to help people with infected computers maintain Internet access. The FBI never intended for this solution to last forever. It was a temporary fix that will expire on Jul. 9. Anyone who hasn’t rid his computer of the DNS Changer virus by then will find himself unable to access the Internet on Jul. 10.
In a post on its website, the FBI cautioned, “It is important to note that the replacement servers will not remove the DNSChanger malware — or other viruses it may have facilitated — from infected computers. Users who believe their computers may be infected should contact a computer professional. They can also find additional information in the links on this page, including how to register as a victim of the DNSChanger malware. And the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance will provide case updates periodically at 877-236-8947.”
According to Fox News, federal officials had originally intended to discontinue their temporary fix on March 8, but a federal judge in New York issued a four-month extension to give people more time to get their computers fixed.
If you don’t know whether or not your computer has been infected with this virus but would like to find out, you can do so on the FBI’s security partner’s website DCWG.org.