DNSChanger is turning Monday, July 9, into an "Intenret Doomsday," causing thousands of users to lose access to the Internet.
The damage, however, can be prevented and minimized with ample preparation. At the end of the day, man-made computers are not natural disasters.
DNS, or "Domain Name System," which acts like the Internet's phone book and translates human-friendly URLs into their respective IP addresses that computers and routers use to establish connections, explained Topher Kessler of CNET.
DNSChanger is a malware originally spread through an online advertising scam. It redirects browsers of infected users and also prevents infected machines from downloading operating system and antivirus security updates that could detect the malware and stop it from operating, according to Wired.
When an infected user's machine attempts to access a software update page, a pop-up message appears to notify that the site is currently unavailable.
The FBI has set up a network of DNS servers, on which many people have depended to access the Internet.
These servers were originally a part of a scam where a crime ring of Estonian nationals developed and distributed a malware package called DNSChanger, but which the FBI seized and converted to a legitimate DNS service, according to CNET.
However, the DNS servers, which were set up to tackle the problem just temporarily, will be shut down right at 12:01 am. EDT Monday, July 9,
The reported number of affected computers ranges from 45,000 to 64,000 in the U.S., and around a quarter-million around the world.
The malware has affected around 245,000 computers worldwide this week and only 45,355 computers in the United States, according to Reuters.
To check whether your computer is free from DNSChanger, visit www.dns-ok.us.
If the computer is not affected, you will see a big green image, while the screen will turn red if the virus has infected the computer.
This source may not be 100% reliable, according to some reports.
If you are affected, first make sure you have updated, working anti-virus protection to protect your computer, according to USA Today.
Learn how to use the scanning and cleanup tools, which accompany the top consumer anti-virus products. Computer viruses are designed to resist detection and cleanup.
If your internet service gets disconnected, you will need to immediately contact your Internet service provider for help. Ask them how to delete the virus, or otherwise criminals will continue to control your machine through the malware.
Friday, a security group Sophos released a video of how to avoid losing your internet connection the coming Monday.
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