Hundreds Of Thousands May Be ‘Internet-less’ in July

For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. The FBI is encouraging users to visit a run by its security partner, http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.

Hackers infected a network of probably more than 570,000 computers worldwide. They took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system to install malicious software on the victim computers. This turned off antivirus updates and changed the way the computers reconcile website addresses behind the scenes on the Internet’s name system.


The hackers earned profits from advertisements that appeared on websites that victims were tricked into visiting. The scam netted the hackers at least $14 million, according to the FBI. It also made thousands of computers reliant on the rogue servers for their Internet browsing.

The number of victims is hard to pinpoint, but the FBI believes that on the day of the arrests, at least 568,000 unique Internet addresses were using the rogue servers. Five months later, FBI estimates that the number is down to at least 360,000. The U.S. has the most, about 85,000, federal authorities said. Other countries with more than 20,000 each include Italy, India, England and Germany. Smaller numbers are online in Spain, France, Canada, China and Mexico.

What do you think should computer users do to avoid being victimized by opportunistic hackers? Send us your suggestions!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: PCtionary

Windows 8’s Impressive Interface

The PC needs saving. With Windows 8, Microsoft believes it has the magic cure.

Beautifully designed apps, ultra-simple navigation, and instinctive commands make it hard to believe Metro came from the same company that brought us Windows Vista. Interactive, “live” tiles and an intuitive app store simplify the PC. Windows 8 is as easy to use as the iPad. That’s exactly what Microsoft intended. As PC sales slump amid a surge in tablets (okay, iPads), Microsoft is creating an operating system that lets hardware makers reimagine the PC for a tablet world. The software is slated to go on sale later this year.

But let’s be clear: Under the veneer of its redesign, Windows 8 is still very much a PC operating system. It features the familiar desktop and taskbar you’ve learned to love — or hate — over the years, and it works just as well with a keyboard and mouse as it does with a touchscreen.


The iPad is the simplest entry point to what Apple calls the “post-PC” world, but PCs haven’t outlived their usefulness just yet. Most people still go to their PCs for tools like Microsoft Office and more complex content creation tasks. That’s where Microsoft sees uncharted territory.

Metro is ideal for everyday tasks like Web browsing, e-mail, photo sharing, social networking, and casual gaming. But when you need to manage files, edit a document, or do anything else you wouldn’t typically try on an iPad, a tap or click on the desktop app launches what looks and feels like the Windows 7 interface.

Source: CNN

Image: Gizmo Watch