Going Viral

If You’re Blocked From the Internet Monday, It’s All This Estonian Crime Ring’s Fault

Unlucky number 275,000.
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FBI agents look just like this, right? (Photo: IMDB)

On July 9th, hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe will be blocked from the Internet. It’s the final phase of Operation Ghost Click, an FBI investigation into the DNSChanger virus.

Last year, the agency and other international authorities apprehended a crime ring of six Estonian hackers who built a complex system of false DNS servers. The customized virus, reports CBC, was spread through “infected emails, bad websites, and malware scripts,” and affected nearly 650,000 computers around the globe.

When the FBI broke up the gang, they set up clean servers to make sure infected computers would still have online access. But the contract to keep those servers running won’t be extended.

The FBI has been successful in getting the number of infected computers down to 275,000 by encouraging users to check if they have the virus and offering instructions on how to remove it.

We’d suggest doing that sometime before you run into a virtual brick wall.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com