Hundreds of thousands lose web access
DNS Changer was a virus run by an Estonian crime ring until authorities and the American FBI broke it up in November. At its peak it infected more than 500,000 PCs and Macs, and at 5.01am UK time today, machines still infected lost all access to the web.
The virus, first used in 2007, hijacked users’ computers without their knowledge to generate fraudulent clicks on adverts. Although its only obvious effects were to slightly slow internet connections and to disable antivirus software, it also redirected computers to the fraudsters’ servers.
Turning that server off immediately would have left users without any web access, so the FBI temporarily replaced it with a site to check whether visiting computers had the virus.
The “DNS Checker Page” allows users to see if they have the virus and to remove it, and has been largely responsible for the fall in the virus’s prevalence.
Now the Bureau has turned off the server because it was costing tens of thousands of dollars to operate each month. It announced earlier in the year that on July 9 it would pull the plug, potentially leaving the 350,000 computers that are still infected, 20,000 of which are in the UK and 85,000 in America, without access to the web.
Top 10 DNS Changer infections
US - 69,517
Italy - 26,494
India - 21,302
UK - 19,589
Germany - 18,427
China - 10,304
Spain - 10,213
Canada - 8,924
Australia - 8,518
For more info and free tools to detect and fix the DNS Changer virus
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