If you want to check your computer for the DNS Changer Virus and skip the lecture, simply go here. If you’d like to learn more about this situation, please read on.
This is going to be the semi-mid-techie explanation, along with a couple of links for you to follow in order to check your computer for the DNS changer virus. The upcoming DNS Changer Virus shut down being performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation will occur on Monday July 9th.
The story: a few years back, some bad guys with too much time on their hands invented a rogue Trojan virus that hijacked homepages and even hijacked browsing capabilities. One of those capabilities was the option to force the computer to change DNS servers. These are servers which translate a web address into a numerical IP used by computers. Computers affected by the DNS Changer worm/virus were re-programmed to access rogue DNS servers that redirected the computer and subsequently the human user, to fraudulent websites; fraudulent websites where the hackers had set up ads that converted into millions of dollars for them. Too bad they’ll be spending the cash in the slammer. (try the big az chicken guys, it’s a hoot! DOUCHES!)
If you prefer the technical jargon I can suggest:
If you visit that site it will tell you yay or nay whether you have the virus. If you would prefer, McAfhee is also giving one click checks on it’s website located here. That’s the service I used and it is literally one mouse click; no sign ups, no nothing. Just click, green or red. Simple.
It’s noteworthy that at one point this virus infected as many as 6 million computers worldwide. Today, the FBI suspects a number of around 360,000 in the U.S. alone, with tens of thousands more overseas, are still infected and will lose internet service.
What can you do if you check your junk and it’s infected? One of two things; get it off your computer before Monday June 9th (and yes, midnight Sunday at the very latest. When the FBI says June 9, it’s a safe bet they mean at the stroke of midnight), or simply buy a new computer. If your computer is old and needs replacing anyway, you’d probably be just as well off to treat yourself, because getting rid of this DNS changer virus can be tricky. Plus, if you wait unti Monday post FBI INTERNET BLACKOUT TIME, it will get even trickier, so … if you intend to salvage your machine, do it prior to June 9th:
- First you’ll need to back up your stuff
- Second you’ll need to reformat the hard drive
- Third you’ll need to reinstall your operating system
- Fourth you’ll need to call your internet service provider to have your DNS changed
- And lastly, you’ll need to change all of your passwords (scratch this one, you’ll need to do this regardless of a new computer purchase or if you simply get rid of the worm on your existing machine, so I’ll leave this bullet here for reference in either case)
You’ve got a one in 360,000 chance of having a computer in the U.S. that’s infected. Good luck.