Why the DNS Changer Virus is the
Biggest NON Story of the Year
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- Written on: July 8th, 2012
On Monday morning the world is going to end for computer users. The Internet will finally buckle under the strain of all of those videos, searches, and knowledge of questionable value. It is the Internet’s doomsday.
Now that we have all of the drama out of the way, the storied DNS changer virus is going to be the biggest non-story of the year. If you are not familiar with the DNS changer virus, here’s a brief re-cap to get you up to speed on the story you will hear WAYYY to much about tomorrow:
What is the DNS Changer Virus:
A few guys in Estonia were sitting around one day trying to figure out a way to make money on the Internet (or in this case off of the Internet). They came up with the bright idea of creating a virus that would redirect people’s web browsers to their pages instead of taking the users to the pages they intended to visit.
Imagine a scenario where you attempt to go to your bank’s website. If I am running the DNS changer virus, I can see that you are attempting to go to your bank’s website and I can instead silently redirect you to another website that looks JUST LIKE your bank’s website. Once you enter your username and password I store them on my computer to exploit later and then pass you on to your bank’s real website.
You might assume you entered a password wrong, type it in again, and get access this time. No big deal to the end user – until my Estonian friends start scamming a reported $14 Million from victims world-wide!
The FBI busted up the ring in 2006, but all of those infected computers were still out there. When the ring was busted and they turned their computers off, tons of computers around the world could not access the Internet.
To help the victims infected with the virus, the FBI brought the DNS changer servers back online – only without the nasty stuff) so people’s computers would function on the Internet again. The FBI is taking that server offline after providing infected computers with Internet access for 6 YEARS. The server goes offline on Monday.
How Many People Are Still Infected?
It was estimated that in may about 355,000 computers world-wide were infected with DNS changer 6 years later. About 77,000 of those computers are in the US (come on people! 6 years with no anti-virus software?!?!)
This virus also infected a number of wireless routers in 2006, using the router to redirect traffic while your computer might scan completely clean with anti-virus software.
How Can I Tell if I am Infected?
Simple! Just visit the website set up to help people get their systems cleaned up. If you get a green background you are good to go. A red background means your computer or your wireless router are infected and you probably can’t get on the Internet anymore.
What Kind of Damage are We Looking at Monday?
The damage from the virus will be contained to the 77,000 computers and/or networks that are infected. The infection is no longer spreading.
With that said, the real damage is going to come from the volume of phone calls we get at Schrock Innovations. If anyone has Internet trouble tomorrow they are going to think they are infected. Sounds like a great time for Time Warner or Cox to do some scheduled maintenance and freak everyone out 😉
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