Hundreds of Thousands of internet connections may cease on July 9, 2012 according to CNBC.
A nasty virus that has been planted in various advertisement on the internet by hackers will when clicked redirect the internet traffic from your normal net-address to the hackers’ own servers.
For those of my readers who wonder how that can be accomplished it seems that the hackers shut down the DNS system, i.e. the ‘telephone book’ of the net which gives each of us an
IP-address, a set of numbers as our ID, which they then converted to a simpler URL made of of letters, e.g. www.snk.co.nz. By doing that the hackers can redirect people to a false website of the original web site where they can then defraud and steal access codes etc.
FBI has been working on the case and says that the swindlers have earned at least 14 million US dollars already.
Back in November FBI arrested 6 hackers from Estonia, but regrettably they were unable to remove the virus. They either had to remove the servers resulting in the loss of internet connection for hundreds of thousand affected or replace the hackers’ servers with secure servers.
They chose the latter in spite of the high cost of keeping two servers operating
(For the 8 months till July the cost is US$87,000), and it was hoped that the problem would have been be solved by March this year.
However, by then only 200,000 of the 570,000 infected computers was freed of the virus, and it is unlikely that all can be cleaned by the deadline. The problem is of course that most people do not know whether they have the virus waiting in their system so on July 9 the replacement servers will be shut down irrespective of how many computers may still be affected.
If the virus has not been removed by then the owners will be without internet connection.
You may wish to check you own computer to see if you are free of this beastie, click on http://www.dns-ok.us/ there is no software to download and you get an immediate answer to whether you are using the standard ‘telephone book’ and consequently the correct channels of net communication.
If by some unhappy chance you actually have the virus go to www.dcwg.org where you will be able to see how to solve the problem.