DNSChanger

‘Internet Doomsday’ Less Than A Week Away

July 9, 2012. “Internet Doomsday.”

Back on February 16 I wrote:

The last couple of days, I’ve heard chatter about possibly not being able to access the Internet in early March. This afternoon I came across a piece that’s being featured on Yahoo! which explains what this is all about. From Steve Huff on the Betabeat website today:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation may yank several crucial domain name servers (DNS) offline on March 8, blocking millions from using the Internet. The servers in the FBI’s crosshairs were installed in 2011 to deal with a nasty worm dubbed DNSChanger Trojan. DNSChanger can get an innocent end-user in trouble; it changes an infected system’s DNS settings to shunt Web traffic to unwanted and possibly even illegal sites.

DNSChanger oozed out of Estonia and may have fouled up as many as a half-million computers in the United States. The feds’ temporary fix to keep the worm from propagating was to replace infected servers with clean surrogates.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The March 8 deadline was eventually pushed back. I added on March 7:

Well, it looks like a potential “Internet Doomsday” has been avoided- for now. Fahmida Rashid wrote this morning on the PC Magazine website:

A federal judge has given users infected with DNSChanger a four-month extension to get clean.

The FBI-controlled DNS servers that replaced the malicious servers will not shut down on March 8 as previously announced. But nearly half a million computers are still at risk for losing Internet connectivity when the new deadline rolls around in July…

The new deadline for getting cleaned up and averting the Internet blackout is now July 9. Users should immediately check their computers if they haven’t already done so.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

July 9- less than a week away. And potentially hundreds of thousands of computers (maybe even more) are still at risk of not being able to connect to the Internet. Matt Liebowitz wrote in MSNBC.com’s Technolog this weekend:

In 10 days, there’s a chance you will not be able to access the Internet on your personal computer. No email, no Facebook, no Google, no Twitter — nothing.

This potentially dire situation is due to the nasty DNSChanger Trojan, and the fateful date of July 9, on which the FBI is set to take all computers still infected with the malware offline for good. The date is being dubbed “Internet doomsday” for those who don’t take action.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

According to Liebowitz, 12 percent of Fortune 500 companies possess these at-risk computers. He added:

In his Krebs on Security blog, researcher Brian Krebs cites a statistic from the DNSChanger Working Group, which estimates that more than 300,000 computers are still infected with the malware.

“That number is likely conservative,” Krebs said. “The DCWG measures infections by Internet protocol (IP) addresses, not unique systems. Because many systems that are on the same local network often share the same IP address, the actual number of DNSChanger-infected machines is probably quite a bit higher than 300,000.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, computer owners can “test to see if you are affected by visiting the following DNSChanger Check-Up sites below.” These can be accessed on the FBI website here. Otherwise, one can go directly to the English language DNSChanger diagnostic site- maintained by the DNSChanger Working Group (DCWG)- here.

(Editor’s note: The author disclaims any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

Source:

Liebowitz, Matt. “Last call to wipe DNSChanger before ‘Internet doomsday.’” Technolog. 30 June 2012. (http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/technology/technolog/last-call-wipe-dnschanger-internet-doomsday-854340). 3 July 2012.

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Potential March 8 ‘Internet Doomsday’ Avoided For Now

(Editor’s note: Update to post published here)

Time for some follow-up posts this morning. Who remembers when I blogged about a number of Americans possibly not being able to access the Internet tomorrow, March 8? I wrote on February 16:

This afternoon I came across a piece that’s being featured on Yahoo! which explains what this is all about. From Steve Huff on the Betabeat website today:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation may yank several crucial domain name servers (DNS) offline on March 8, blocking millions from using the Internet. The servers in the FBI’s crosshairs were installed in 2011 to deal with a nasty worm dubbed DNSChanger Trojan. DNSChanger can get an innocent end-user in trouble; it changes an infected system’s DNS settings to shunt Web traffic to unwanted and possibly even illegal sites.

DNSChanger oozed out of Estonia and may have fouled up as many as a half-million computers in the United States. The feds’ temporary fix to keep the worm from propagating was to replace infected servers with clean surrogates.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Well, it looks like a potential “Internet Doomsday” has been avoided- for now. Fahmida Rashid wrote this morning on the PC Magazine website:

A federal judge has given users infected with DNSChanger a four-month extension to get clean.

The FBI-controlled DNS servers that replaced the malicious servers will not shut down on March 8 as previously announced. But nearly half a million computers are still at risk for losing Internet connectivity when the new deadline rolls around in July…

The new deadline for getting cleaned up and averting the Internet blackout is now July 9. Users should immediately check their computers if they haven’t already done so.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

The article (located on PCMag.com here) contains the latest information on detecting and removing this Trojan.

I’ll make a note on my calendar in early July to see what sort of progress has been made in averting this potential Internet blackout.

(Editor’s note: The author disclaims any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

Source:

Rashid, Fahmida Y. “Avoid Internet Doomsday: Check for DNSChanger Malware Now.” PC Magazine. 7 Mar. 2012. (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401227,00.asp). 7 Mar. 2012.

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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 Crime, Technology 1 Comment

Millions Could Lose Internet Access Starting March 8

(Editor’s note: Update to post published here)

The last couple of days, I’ve heard chatter about possibly not being able to access the Internet in early March. This afternoon I came across a piece that’s being featured on Yahoo! which explains what this is all about. From Steve Huff on the Betabeat website today:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation may yank several crucial domain name servers (DNS) offline on March 8, blocking millions from using the Internet. The servers in the FBI’s crosshairs were installed in 2011 to deal with a nasty worm dubbed DNSChanger Trojan. DNSChanger can get an innocent end-user in trouble; it changes an infected system’s DNS settings to shunt Web traffic to unwanted and possibly even illegal sites.

DNSChanger oozed out of Estonia and may have fouled up as many as a half-million computers in the United States. The feds’ temporary fix to keep the worm from propagating was to replace infected servers with clean surrogates.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

You can read the rest of what Huff has to say on the BetaBeat website here. He includes information for large network operators and individual users about finding out if they’ve been infected.

(Editor’s note: The author disclaims any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Thursday, February 16th, 2012 Europe, Government, Technology No Comments


Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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