A two-year FBI investigation called Operation Ghost Click ended yesterday with the arrest of Six Estonian nationals. They were charged with running a sophisticated Internet fraud ring that infected millions of computers worldwide. Using a DNS changer virus thieves were able to manipulate the multi-billion-dollar Internet advertising industry by infecting private computers which allowed them to control Domain Name System (DNS) servers. The virus also prevented computers from updating or using anti-virus software, leaving them vulnerable to even more malicious software.
During the sophisticated two year investigation U.S. authorities seized computers and rogue DNS servers at various locations. As part of a federal court order the FBI has put up surrogate servers in place of the malicious ones, but only temporarily. Now, the FBI wants to shut down their surrogate DNS servers. Doing so would prevent infected PCs from reaching the Web, because they’ll be trying to redirect through servers that no longer exist. Although the Feds aren’t shutting down the Internet, they will be severing the link on which infected users have relied. The FBI plans to shut down the malicious servers on July 9th.
According to authorities there were about 500,000 infections in the U.S., including computers belonging to individuals, businesses, and government agencies such as NASA. As of February, half of all Fortune 500 companies owned computers infected with DNS Changer. The DNS Changer Working Group estimates that more than 350,000 devices are still infected. If users don’t rid themselves of DNS Changer before the July 9 FBI server shut down will prevent internet connectivity for computers still infected with the virus.
To find out if you’re infected, visit the DNS Changer Check-Up site, which checks the DNS resolution of your PC without installing any additional software. For infected users, the DNS Changer Working Group has a list of anti-virus software that can fix the problem, and Avira offers a repair tool specifically for DNS Changer.
For more information on how to protect your network and computer from malware and viruses please Contact one of our Network Security Experts today by sending us an email or calling 800-300-5500.
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