DNS Changer Malware may have affected 47,000 Americans
Los Angeles Times
July 9, 2012
As many as 47,000 Americans may have lost Internet access Monday after the FBI shut down servers supporting computers that were infected by malware. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)
The FBI finally shut off servers Monday morning that at one point supported millions of users infected by the DNS Changer Malware, leaving as many as 47,000 Americans disconnected from the Internet.
Though the FBI with the help of various organizations and companies was able to reduce the number of infected computers from 4 million to less than 250,000 in the last few months, several hundred thousand users were still affected by the 12:01 a.m. Eastern time cut off Monday morning.
The U.S. was left with the most affected users after the cutoff, according to security firm F-Secure, which put up a blog with stats Monday.
The U.S. had as many as 47,054 users still infected over the weekend. That was followed by Italy in second place with 21,508 users, and India came in the third spot, with 19,991 infected users.
The DNS Changer problem began as a result of an online advertising scam that ended up infecting 4 million computers worldwide. The FBI put an end to the scheme, but the government agency realized that turning off the servers running the malware would have taken down all those computers from the Internet.
As a solution, the FBI set up two servers to continue providing access for the infected users, set a date for when they would be shut down and began raising awareness.
If your computer or the computer of someone you know has been affected, there are steps that can be taken to remedy the problem.
For a list of what to do from an expert organization, head here. Essentially, what you may need to do is back up your computer, have an expert wipe it clean of the malware, reformat your hard drive and reinstall everything.
For future reference, make sure to browse the Web more securely. Don’t click links or open documents from untrusted email addresses, and when you enter logins and passwords, make sure you are entering them to trustworthy organizations and in their actual websites — not lookalikes built to take your information.