DNS changer malware may knock thousands off Internet today

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Kaspersky eStore
Tens of thousands of web users may lose their Internet service today, unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago.

The warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across the social networking websites. Internet service providers have sent notices. In the United States, the FBI even set up a special website.

Detailed information can be obtained online at the following links:

The number of computers that probably are infected is more than 277,000 worldwide.

People whose computers are still infected today, most probably will lose their ability to go online. They will have to call their service providers for help deleting the DNS changer malware  and reconnecting to the Internet.

The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the American authorities went in to take down the hackers late last year, they realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.

Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their online surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

Popular social networking sites and Internet providers have gotten more involved, reaching out to computer users to warn of the problem.

Many Internet providers are ready for the problem and have plans to try to help their customers. Internet providers may come up with technical solutions that they will put in place Monday that will either correct the problem or provide information to customers when they call to say their Internet isn’t working. If the Internet providers correct the server problem, the Internet will work, but the malware will remain on victims’ computers and could pose future problems.

Facebook and Google created their own warning messages that showed up if someone using either site appeared to have an infected computer. Facebook users would get a message that says, “Your computer or network might be infected,” along with a link that users can click for more information.

Google users got a similar message, displayed at the top of a Google search results page. It also provides information on correcting the problem.

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