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

Apple Hits $46 Billion in Sales

Apple’s stellar quarter generated sales of $46.3 billion, a tech industry report said. That’s up 73% from a year ago, and it easily topped Wall Street analysts’ $38.9 billion median forecast, a Thomson Reuters poll shows.

Apple had $127.8 billion in sales during the 2011 calendar year, putting it neck-and-neck with Hewlett-Packard, the nation’s largest tech company. This year, Apple is on pace to become the biggest technology company in the world, measured by revenue, outpacing current global No. 1 Samsung. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said its fiscal first quarter profit rose to $13 billion, or $13.87 per share, more than double the profit Apple booked a year earlier. Apple is sitting on most of those profits. It now has $97.6 billion in cash.

Apple’s iPhone sales were lifted by October’s launch of the iPhone 4S, the eagerly awaited successor to the iPhone 4. The Siri-powered device came out months later than its predecessors did in past years, sending pent-up demand sky-high for the phone. The iPhone alone generated $24.4 billion in sales during the quarter for Apple. The iPad expectations also went beyond the box. Apple Stores performed very well during the holidays, generating $6.1 billion during the quarter.

High-Quality iPod/iPhone Accessories

For the current quarter, Apple said it expects earnings of $8.50 per share on sales of $32.5 billion. Historically, Apple’s outlook has tended to be quite conservative, so investors were cheered that Apple’s forecast was more optimistic than most analysts’.

Shares of Apple rose 8% in after-hours trading.


Source: CNN