Will Your Computer Lose Internet Access on Monday?

There’s all kinds of buzz about the potential loss of internet access come Monday. What’s all the fuss about and is there really cause for concern?

There is if your computer is affected with a virus called DNSChanger.

What is DNSChanger?

It’s the name of a virus unleashed by cybercriminals living in Estonia over 5 years ago. DNSChanger infected over 4 million computers in over 100 countries. The hackers hijacked searches and routed them to fake websites with illegal ads that allowed them to make over $14 million.

The FBI investigation called Operation Ghost Click took two years and while those responsible were arrested in 2011 and their servers became property of the FBI, the government is getting the word out to warn those still affected to check their computers for the malware.  Over 500,000 U.S. computers belonging to individuals, businesses, and government agencies were originally affected.

If you’re concerned that you could be affected, check your machine with a single click by clicking on http://www.dns-ok.us/. You’ll either get a green light signaling that your machine is ok or be warned that additional steps need to be taken to rid your computer of the DNSChanger virus.

Whether or not you’re affected, it’s always a good idea to protect your machine on a regular basis.  Ensure that your virus protection is current. Free antivirus software is available from companies like AVG.  If you purchase virus protection, be aware that the license is often only good for a year and will need to be renewed.

Also be sure to back up your files. Use automated software that will run the backup for you so you won’t have to remember to do it. Have a copy of your computer’s data on an external hard drive or cloud backup in the event of a malware attack.

For more information about Malware, read my previous post called Malware 101 that provides a quick rundown on the 4 most common forms of malware: Trojan Horses, spyware, worms, and viruses.

Grunge access denied rubber stamp via Shutterstock

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