Nearly 300K Could Lose Internet Access Monday

FBI urging people to see if their computer is infected
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2012 8:38 AM CDT
Updated Jul 5, 2012 9:10 AM CDT
Nearly 300K Could Lose Internet Access Monday
This undated handout image provided by The DNS Changer Working Group (DCWG) shows the webpage resulting from not having the DNS malware.   (AP Photo/DNC Changer Working Group, FILE)

(Newser) – Nearly 300,000 computers could be knocked off the Internet Monday, when the FBI shuts down a temporary system that's been running since last year. The problem started when hackers took control of more than 570,000 computers worldwide in an online ad scam, the AP reports. When dealing with the virus, known as "DNS Changer," the FBI realized that dismantling the malicious servers that were controlling the infected computers would actually cause the victims to lose Internet service entirely. So the FBI instead installed two clean servers to take over for the malicious servers, but those will be shut down at 12:01am Monday. They were costing tens of thousands of dollars to run, the Telegraph notes.

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The FBI also set up a website where people can quickly check to see if their computer is affected by the malware, but even though it only takes a moment, more than 277,000 are still estimated to be infected, including 64,000 US customers and 50 of the Fortune 500 companies. Repeated warnings have been sent by Internet service providers and even posted on Facebook and Google. Anyone who doesn't fix the problem by Monday will need to contact their ISP for help getting rid of the virus and getting back online. See if you're infected here. (Read more DNS stories.)

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