The search engine's warning alerts users infected by DNSChanger malware that they are at risk of losing their Internet access when the FBI shuts down
its Ghost Click servers July 9.
"We believe directly messaging affected users on a trusted site and in their preferred language will produce the best possible results," Damien Menscher, Google's security engineer, wrote on the company's blog
. "If more devices are cleaned and steps are taken to better secure the machines against further abuse, the notification effort will be well worth it."
The FBI has been maintaining the servers in an effort to counter DNSChanger malware used by a seven-person crime ring the FBI arrested and charged
The servers were initially scheduled
to shut down in March, but that was delayed by court order until July 9, in order to give infected users more time to remove the malware.
The DNSChanger malware was a Trojan horse that "showed users an altered version of the Internet" that could "give fake, malicious answers, altering user searches, and promoting fake and dangerous products," according
to the DNSChanger Working Group, an organization established to counter the malware.
At its peak, the malware infected an estimated four million computers worldwide, 500,000 in the United States. The malware persists today, and it is estimated that it still infects
as many as 330,000 computers worldwide.
The individuals responsible for distributing the malware allegedly defrauded
users and advertisers of approximately $14 million from the time the malware was first discovered in December 2007.