Monday could be D-Day for your computer, but then again, we’ve heard that before.
Monday’s threat is a malware virus called DNSChanger, which threatens to lock out tens of thousands of people from Internet access, including some in the . It also has the potential to search out private information.
Sorry to be a source of a culture of fear, but it's better safe than sorry, right?
According to the FBI, the trojan virus will divert users from legitimate ISP servers to malicious sites that will alter their Domain Namer Server, which is the unique address of your computing device. Without access to the correct DNS and DNS servers, you would not be able to access websites, send email, or use any other Internet services.
A Huffington Post report citing FBI data estimates as many as 277,000 computers infected worldwide and about 64,000 in the United States.
In English, Please?
So what does this mean in non-techie language? DNSChanger Trojans are used to hijack search results while blocking victims from visiting security sites. The FBI was able to replace some of the affected DNS infrastructure with legitimate DNS servers to keep infected users online.
Legally the FBI only had until March 8 to keep that infrastructure up and running, meaning that millions of unaware infected users would suddenly be connectionless after that data.
Fortunately, the FBI was able to extend that date to 11 p.m. CST Sunday, July 8. The FBI has set up a website with instructions and safe links to check your computer for the malware at http://www.dcwg.org.
Sometime before the Sunday night deadline, visit one of the FBI's safe "check" sites and scan your system. If you are infected, the FBI gives you the information to remove the malware from your system.
If the virus hits your computer, you will have to manually reset your local DNS settings then make sure your computer is clean at http://www.dns-ok.us
Experts predict malware attack on personal computers, portable devices and laptops, even smartphones will increase by the end of the year. Antivirus software developer Trend Micro estimates more than a dozen malicious apps were downloaded over 700,000 times from Google's popular mobile app market before they were removed.
Patch editors and contributed to this article.
Has your computer ever been hit by a computer virus? Tell Hazelwood Patch about it in the comments?