Sunday, July 8, 2012

Internet blackout looms for thousands: What you need to know

Thousands of computer users may lose Internet access on Monday, when the deadline for a temporary fix to a malicious software scam shut down by the FBI last year expires.

What is it?

Millions of computers were infected with the so-called "Internet Doomsday" virus used in the hacking scam, which redirected Internet searches through DNS servers used by the scammers, who allegedly netted $14 million in bogus advertising revenue. After U.S. and Estonian authorities busted the malware ring last November, a federal judge ordered that the FBI use temporary servers while the malware victims' PCs were repaired. The temporary servers will shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, meaning anyone using a computer still infected with the virus will likely lose Internet access.

"Connectivity will be lost to the Internet PERIOD," Symantec, the online security firm, said in a blog post. "If your computer is still using DNS entries that are pointing to the FBI servers on July 9, you will lose TOTAL access to the Internet. No connecting to the office from home, no updating Facebook, nothing until the DNS settings are fixed." Learn more...

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