FBI: ‘Internet Doomsday’ Virus Could Black Out Thousands

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.

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, in turn, 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.”

It’s unclear how widespread the “blackout” will be. According to a working group set up by security experts, more than 300,000 computers remained infected as of June 11, including 69,000 in the United States. Last week, 245,000 computers were said to be still infected with the so-called Alureon virus, according online security firm Deteque, including 45,355 U.S. machines.

According to Reuters, U.S. Internet providers including AT&T and Time Warner Cable “have made temporary arrangements so that their customers will be able to access the Internet using the address of the rogue DNS servers.” And the problem, security experts say, is relatively easy to fix.

Have you been affected with the Internet Blackout? What tools did you use to diagnose your PC of the “Internet Doomsday” virus?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: 5 News Online

Wikipedia and Reddit Join 24-Hour Blackout to Protest SOPA

Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, says his website will go dark for the day on Wednesday, joining a budding movement to protest the two bills, SOPA and PIPA.

Other sites, such as Reddit and Boing Boing, have already said they would go dark on Wednesday. And some of the biggest web names, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, have vocally opposed the proposed legislation, though they have not said they are joining the online blackout. Google today said it would highlight the issue with a link Wednesday on its home page in the U.S.

PIPA, the Protect IP Act in the Senate, and SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, have been presented as a way to protect movie studios, record labels, software, and others. Supporters range from the Country Music Association to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But the Internet giants say the bills could require your Internet provider to block websites that are involved in digital file sharing. And search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing could be stopped from linking to them — antithetical, they say, to the ideal of an open Internet.

The House bill is on hold for now, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.), who sponsored the Senate version, said he would be in favor of further research on provisions that have raised objections from Internet service providers.

 

Source: ABC News

Image: Vator News