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

Mayan Calendar: 2012 Apocalypse Countdown Begins

The countdown to the apocalypse is on. We’re one year away from Dec. 21, 2012, the date that the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar allegedly marked as the end of an era that would reset the date to zero and signal the end of humanity. But will it?

There have been many end of times predictions over the years. Christian radio host Harold Camping faced widespread ridicule when his predictions that the world would end twice this year – on May 21, and then on Oct. 21 – failed to materialize.

The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy. Advanced mathematics and primitive astronomy flourished, creating what many have called the most accurate calendar in the world. The Mayans predicted a final event that included a solar shift, a Venus transit and violent earthquakes.

Their Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a significant, sacred number for the Mayas, and they wrote that the 13th Baktun ends on Dec. 21, 2012. The doomsday theories stem from a stone tablet discovered in the 1960s at the archaeological site of Tortuguero in the Gulf of Mexico state of Tabasco that describes the return of a Mayan god at the end of a 13th period.

“The world will not end. It is an era,” said Yeanet Zaldo, a tourism spokeswoman for the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun. “For us, it is a message of hope.”

 

Source: Yahoo! News

Image: ABC News