Saturday, April 21, 2012

DNSChanger: Are YOU Infected?

You've been given notice, people.  You have until July 8, 2012 (yes, that's THIS year), to check if your computer has been infected with the DNSChanger trojan.  If it is not removed, beyond this date your Internet goes bye-bye.  To check if you're infected or not click this link.  Do you see the following image?
Ok, that means you're good.  If you see something else you better start disinfecting ASAP.  It seems most of the major Antivirus and Malware manufacturers are already aware of the issue and have already taken steps to protect those users.

Now you're probably asking yourself what the heck is going on here.  I was waiting for you to clear up that malware thing before I started explaining.  If you're happy with just knowing about the infection go ahead and stop now.  I think I'm pretty good at explaining tech, but this can get boring nevertheless. 

A Domain Name System (DNS) Server is a node on the Internet that translates your stardard web address into the confusing numbers that is actually the address.  Here's an example of a what a web address actually looks like when it's not using DNS: (that goes to Yahoo!)

Remembering a sequence of numbers like that would make it really difficult to surf the web right?  That's where DNS comes in.  Ok, so here's where things went wrong.  A hacker ring in Estonia set up a buttload of false DNS servers and the FBI raided and confiscated those bad boys.  Infected computers were being rerouted to sites that the hackers wanted you to go to so they could collect commissions on Internet ads and page clicks.  Problem was though so many Internet users were infected the FBI didn't want to just yank the servers offline.  If they did over half a million people would have lost access to the Internet (and half a million is just the US number; worldwide infections totaled over 4 million).  Instead they converted the false DNS servers to legitimate ones.  But keeping servers running costs money and since the FBI isn't privy to that clickjacking money stream the Estonians has so the taxpayers are footing the bill...and that's why the time to shut these servers down has come.

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