At 12:01 AM EDT a virus known as "DNS Changer" will potentially shut off internet service for close to half of a million people around the world. Despite the fact that 500,000 is a small number compared to the general population of the globe's internet users, GizModo
points out the old adage that it's better safe than sorry.
The FBI has released a method to combat the DNS Changer malware as well as offered services to see if your computer is already infected with it. To check your machine's status, click here
As reported by the Huffington Post
back in April, an international group of hackers dubbed "Operation Ghost Click" concocted an online advertising scam that took control of the computers it subsequently infected.
According to Technology Spectator
, DNS Changer operates by attacking any given machine's DNS (Domain Name System) - which is responsible for turning domain names into IP addresses, and granting access onto a website - and picks at a compromised computer's DNS settings.
Operation Ghost Click had, since their April attacks been busted and, in fact, scheduled their Doomsay-type blackout to happen earlier than July. After U.S. authorities took the rogue collective's operations down by setting up their own DNS in order to counter the efforts by the cyber criminals. However, this fix was merely a temporary one; one that ends at 12:01 tonight.
For the unfortunate 500,000 (an estimated 64,000 in the U.S. alone) who do happen to lose internet access, not all hope is lost as they can take a look at this step-by-step procedure
on how to remedy the problem. There is also a video provided by Naked Security
on what to do.
The virus will only affect Windows PCs and Macs, Linux and mobile phones users will in no way be hit by DNS Changer.