By: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Posted: April 23rd, 2012
The FBI is warning that hundreds of thousands of individuals could lose access to the internet come July 9 unless they disinfect and remove a malware Trojan off their computers.
DNS Changer can infect both Windows and Mac systems. Linux users are safe, as are those using iPhones, iPads, Android devices and other systems.
The Trojan in question is called DNS Changer, a piece of malware that was discovered back in 2007 and is estimated to have infected millions of computer worldwide.
The malware intercepts websites visited by the web browser, redirecting the users from the site they had chosen to visit to servers under the control of the cybercriminals. These servers were then used to pushed web ads to the user, earning the criminals millions of dollars in the process.
However, last year the FBI, working in conjunction with the Estonian police, seized the servers used by the cybercriminals and broke up the crime ring behind the operations. However, the servers used by the criminals were kept online so as to not disrupt the web activities of those infected (although they no longer served up ads).
But running these web servers isn’t cheap, and so the plug is being pulled on them come July. Because systems infected with DNS Changer have had key settings changed that redirects all their web browsing through these servers, once they are pulled offline, the internet will disappear for anyone using an infected system.
The DNS Changer Working Group (DCWG), the that’s been maintaining care of the servers since their seizure, has created a website that allows you check if your computer is infected and, if it is, remove the DNSChanger malware.
Back in January of this year the DCWG estimated that some 450,000 systems were still infected with DNS Changer.
If you are infected there are a whole host of removal tools available. Here is a listing:
- Hitman Pro (32bit and 64bit versions)
- Kaspersky Labs TDSSKiller
- McAfee Stinger
- Microsoft Windows Defender Offline
- Microsoft Safety Scanner
- Norton Power Eraser
- Trend Micro Housecall
Given that after July 8 you might not get the chance to do this, you might want to check your system for DNS Changer sooner rather than later.