Geeks and Nerds Stuff

Will You Be Screaming on Monday?

I can already see it now.  On Monday morning July 9th some people will wonder why their computers will not connect to the internet.  They will try everything to find the root cause to the problem.  And then some people will ask if you had your computer checked for the DNSChanger Malware.  If you are panicking on July 9th and maybe reading this post from a library or a friend’s house and have no clue on why your computer has no internet access I am going to tell you what happened and a way to prevent this nightmare from happening to you.

The FBI arrested six Estonian Nationals last fall and were charged with using malware and rogue DNS servers to hijack millions of computers worldwide.  This was one of the biggest cybercriminal take-downs in history.  The FBI got a court order and used government computers to prevent any internet disruptions to anyone who downloaded this malware onto their computers.  But on July 9th the government computers will shut down.  And for anyone who has not cleaned up the malware from their computers they will be screaming loudly on Monday morning.  This safety net was to expire last February but it was extended to July because not enough people were ready.  Here is a quote from the FBI:

“To assist victims affected by the DNSChanger malicious software, the FBI obtained a court order authorizing the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to deploy and maintain temporary clean DNS servers. This solution is temporary, providing additional time for victims to clean affected computers and restore their normal DNS settings. The clean DNS servers will be turned off on July 9, 2012, and computers still impacted by DNSChanger may lose Internet connectivity at that time.”

So everyone needs to check and see if your computer is infected with the DNSChanger Malware.  And there is a very simple way of checking.  Go to http://dns-ok.us/ and check your status.  If you get the green box like the picture below you are safe.

But if you get a red box you have the malware.  And there are several ways to delete this malware before you are in panic mode Monday morning.  Go to http://www.dnschanger.com/ and you can download the DNSChanger Removal Tool for free!  That should delete any harmful malware from your computer.  Then go back to http://dns-ok.us/ to make sure you get the green box.  While scanning your computer turn off any pop-up blockers or extensions to make sure your entire computer is scanned.

I have a feeling computer shops from across the country will be busy on Monday from people having no internet access from their computers.  But if you run a couple of preventive steps you can avoid that trip!  But hurry as the FBI computers will turn off at 11:01pm central Sunday night!