(Prescott, AZ – July 5, 2012) Hundreds of thousands of Internet users may lose online access on July 9, 2012, if their computers are infected with malware. To avoid this from happening, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging consumers and businesses to run a quick and easy diagnostic test to see if their computers are infected.
Last November, the FBI took down the servers of international hackers operating out of Estonia. The hackers had successfully downloaded malware onto more than half a million computers, turning off virus updates and redirecting consumers to fraudulent websites. While the servers could have been shut down leaving the victims’ computers with no access to the Internet, the FBI instead set up clean servers to replace the ones that were running the scam. Victims have been redirected to those clean servers ever since, usually without any knowledge their computers had been infected in the first place.
“We recommend everyone check their computers before July 9,” urged Matthew Fehling, BBB President/CEO. “It takes less than a minute to check and if your computer is clean, there is nothing more to do. If it is infected with malware, there are certain steps to take immediately.”
After July 9, the clean servers will be turned off and anyone who is still infected with the malware will lose Internet access. The FBI believes there are still about 360,000 infected computers in a dozen countries, including the U.S. and Canada.
Consumers are advised to visit the FBI’s DNS Changer Working Group site at www.dcwg.org, and run the test to detect whether their computer is infected with malware. DNS Charger Working Group also offers a step-by-step guide to fix infected computers.