Come this Monday (9th July 2012), about quarter of a million Internet users could find themselves in trouble. The DNS changer malware could completely cut them off from the internet. Around 8 months ago, the FBI busted an Estonian cyber crime ring that planted malware in computers everywhere that would redirect users to pay per click websites filled with online ads and more security threats. The hackers could control infected computers and were used as part of a botnet to spread malware. This whole operation resulted in total earnings of almost 14 million USD for the hackers. After the 6 individuals responsible for the attack were taken into custody, several DNS servers were set up in place of the rogue DNS servers so that infected computers could still use the internet normally. On July 9 at around 0400 hours GMT, these servers expire and infected computers will lose internet access. This was done so that networks gained time to identify infected computers.
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To counter this, you have to check if your computer has been infected and get rid of the virus. Your computer might be infected and you’d never know. If the proper measures are not taken, you might just be cut off from the internet and have to contact your ISP to get everything up and running again. So here’s what you need to do:
Step 1. Update your security software and run a complete scan. If you don’t have one, get one ASAP.
Step 2. Go to any one of these sites and check if your computer is affected:
Step 3. If your computer is not affected, you can breath a sigh of relief, there’s nothing else you have to do. However, if unfortunately it is affected, visit any one of these sites to remove the DNS Changer malware:
Kaspersky Labs TDSSKiller
Microsoft Windows Defender Offline
Microsoft Safety Scanner
Norton Power Eraser
Trend Micro Housecall
Avira Repair Tool
The DNS changer malware has many other functions apart from redirecting users to fake websites. It could also log keystrokes and steal passwords. So it might be a good idea to change any saved passwords in browsers and bank accounts. If you notice any transactions made that you don’t remember, please change passwords and related information as soon as possible.
Alternately, if you computer was detected as carrying the DNS Changer malware and you’d rather fix it yourself, please visit the following websites according to your operating system:
Mac OS X
Keep in mind that the manual removal will require a bit of technical knowledge and it is recommended to use any one of the tools mentioned above. For more information and press releases about this malware, visit this website. It is the official website of DCWG, the DNS Changer Working Group, a consortium created to counter this threat and includes software manufacturers, government agencies and groups from universities as well. Kindly check for the malware on your computer as soon as possible and stay alert, stay safe!