Thousands Could Lose Internet Access Due to DNS Changer Malware
When your computer wants to visit Techlicious.com, it looks up the numeric address for the site in a centralized directory on a Doman Name Server (DNS). Last fall, the FBI shut down a ring of hackers who were using malware, named DNS Changer, to route infected computers to rogue DNS servers that redirected users to malicious websites.
The problem was that if these rogue servers were shut down, people infected with DNS Changer would no longer be able to access sites on the web. It was decided that instead of leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded without Internet access, clean servers would be put in place of the rogue servers to provide Internet access to infected computers. This was always meant to be a temporary measure, giving people time to remove the DNS Changer malware.
On July 9, the clean servers will be shut down. So if your computer is still infected with DNS Changer on July 9, you won’t have access to the Internet.
How can you tell if you’re infected? The DNS Changer Working Group provides links that let you check to see if you’re infected. If you are infected, novice computer users should seek the help of a professional computer service. If you’re more tech-savvy, you can use one of the removal tools.
Either way, you’ll want to do a full back up of your important files to an external hard drive, since removal may require re-installing your operating system. You could also use a cloud backup service, but a hard drive will be much faster for re-instating your files.