Take a deep breath and try not to panic.
Your computer may be one of over 500,000 devices infected with a virus, but we have good news, we’ve got the scoop on an easy way to fix it right at home.
You may not have heard, as we only caught wind of it recently, but the FBI, NASA-OIG and Estonian police arrested several cyber criminals last November in relation to what we now know as “Operation Ghost Click.”
Their crime? Well, first let’s start with some vocabulary that we wish we would have had before reading the FBI press release (let’s just say we put our Google Search Toolbar to good use).
DNS is a domain name system. Here’s the gist: Think of it as a huge Google. It takes in the information you provide and then sends it out to the corresponding IP addresses.
DNS Changer is a virus that infects users’ computers and alters the way information is delivered.
Internet Systems Consortium is a non-profit organization out of Delaware that creates software that supports the infrastructure of the Internet.
Okay, back to the crime at hand. These cybercriminals, who call themselves, Rove Digital, distributed a series of viruses, variously known as TDSS, Alureon, TidServ and TDL4 viruses, which are DNS changing viruses.
Once a computer is infected, Rove Digital would alter DNS settings thus pointing users to malicious and fake DNS at data centers in Estonia and several cities in the United States.
The real problem here? The malicious DNS would look no different to users, leaving them none the wiser. According to the DNS Changer Working Group (DCWG), “The malicious DNS servers would give fake, malicious answers, altering user searches, and promoting fake and dangerous products. Because every web search starts with DNS, the malware showed users an altered version of the Internet.”
Luckily, after the FBI made the arrests, they, with the help of Internet Systems Consortium, set up replacement DNS servers that would supersede the harm done by Rove Digital. Unfortunately these safe servers are due to expire, by court order, on July 9th.
This doesn’t leave consumers much time to fix a problem they may not have known existed.
So here’s what you do! First go here to see if you have even been infected. If you have been infected, go to the DCWG website to learn how to fix your computer before July 9th.
For more information, contact your San Diego BBB at bbb.org or by telephone at 858.496.2131.