Malware may cause thousands to be without internet service

Jul 6, 2012 14:11:19Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Malware may cause thousands to be without internet service

The FBI is taking an internet security breach into their own hands by shutting off internet services for virus-infected computers this coming Monday. This unprecedented move will likely cause thousands of Americans and Canadians to lose service entirely, according to The Associated Press.

People can prevent this from happening by doing a quick check for malware on their computers, which could have infected their devices more than a year ago. There have been repeated alerts about the malware, which is called DNSChanger. Since its discovery last fall, the FBI has brought down the infected number of computers from 500,000 to less than 70,000 in the U.S., according to the news source.

However, there is still a great deal of infected computers. The majority of users whose computers have the virus are unaware of it, even though their web browsing has most likely slowed down and their antivirus software been disabled. Once the hackers who created and distributed this malware gain access a computer, they are able to reroute users from websites they intend to visit, such as Apple or Netflix, to various sites that sell unauthorized products.

According to The Boston Herald, the campaign to shut off service was designed by tech security teams as well as online giants Google and Facebook. Google warned its users about the malware once before and then notified users whose computers were infected in May. Facebook did the same last month. Comcast has also stepped in to help by sending letters via the U.S. Postal Service in hopes that its customers take the threat seriously.

Google and Facebook were sending people whose machines were infected to safe links that demonstrate how to fix the problem, and a website run by a tech security group also provides instructions on how to get rid of the malware, according to the Herald. A link to the website that indicates whether or not your computer is infected by the malware can be found here.

Even though the number of infected computers has reduced significantly, the FBI will still be shutting down all of the computers that are infected on Monday. This will hopefully prompt users to contact their internet service providers, which will then be able to explain the problem and fix it, the news source reports.