Wednesday, May 30, 2012

D.H. Scrubby Tech Tip: Will the Internet stop working July 9?

Glora's husband fancies himself a writer and a technology enthusiast (code for "likes expensive toys"). As a guest writer for Glora's Crafts, he writes articles which might be interesting to the crafting and blogging community.

You may have heard a rumor going around that FBI is going to shut down the Internet on July 9.

While that is probably not true for most people, the Internet may go dark for some people because the FBI will turn off a certain server on that date.

Maybe I better explain from the beginning.

In 2007, a sophisticated virus called DNSChanger was released and quickly infected millions of computers. The malware would reroute your requests to view a webpage to hacker-created websites, where cyber-criminals made at least $14 million in showing online advertisements. (Who says advertizing doesn't pay?) DNSChanger also prevents infected computers from updating or using anti-virus software, leaving them vulnerable to even more malicious software.

Forward to November 2011: The FBI arrested six Estonian nationals (yes, I had to look up Estonia too) and seized the servers where infected users were being redirected. Because of the number of users who were unknowingly being directed through these servers, a court order instructed the FBI put up surrogate servers in place of the malicious ones so as not to disrupt the Internet service for millions.

That court order runs out on July 9. When the servers come down, infected computers will no longer find the Internet.

So, how can you know if you are infected with DNSChanger?

Visit this FBI website: Click one of the links at the bottom of the page (appropriate to the language you speak). You'll know instantly.

If you are infected, how can you fix it?

Unfortunately, the program is a rootkit type of virus, which means it buries itself deep into the system, requiring intensive work to get rid of it. The safest course is to back up your important data, reformat your hard drive(s), and reinstall your operating system (easier said than done).

If you want to attempt removal on your own, several antivirus companies have released free removal utilities. One example includes Kapersky Labs free rootkit removal tool.

Good luck, and may the Internet stay on for you!

Comments are always welcome - however, please understand that I cannot provide technical support for your situation. If you run into trouble, seek out professional assistance (that is, invite the neighborhood nerd over and offer him a doughnut).


  1. Thank you for helping me understand this. I will not go black on July 9. :)

  2. Thank you. I checked, I am safe. :-)

  3. Mr. Glora~ EXCELLENT article! I will have to give this a try so I am not in the dark! You do wonderful articles for us technology challenged people (MYSELF)! I so appreciate ALL the help and knowledge you share! I also ADORE your wife ~ she is so SWEET!

  4. Thanks so much for the information - clear and helpful! I'm "clean" and will share the info with my family