The Bad Kind of Viral

Will Your Internet Die a Horrible Death On Monday?

These guys want to help. Really.

Will your Internet suddenly vanish on Monday, July 9? Will you click on that new cute kitten video only to see full-blown failure, white noise, an Indian head placard, as the vicious “Alureon/DNSChanger bot” takes its final victims down in a mini-Webageddon? No, probably not.

Yes, as of 12:01 a.m. on July 9 the FBI will remove its phalanx of protective servers that have been keeping still-infected computers safely online. However the panic over the possibility of losing Internet access is probably, at this point, out-of-proportion to the actual level of infection. In the United States the number of still-infected computers runs in the 100s of thousands. Out of hundreds of millions of computers. Think about those odds for a moment–chances are excellent you are not among the infected, the unclean. Read More

Security

FBI Could Pull the Plug On Millions of Internet Users March 8

These guys want to help. Really.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation may yank several crucial domain name servers (DNS) offline on March 8, blocking millions from using the Internet.┬áThe 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. Read More