The FBI Might Cut Off the Internet For Millions of People on March 8th

Illustration for article titled The FBI Might Cut Off the Internet For Millions of People on March 8th

In an unprecedented move, the FBI may cut off Internet access to millions of people on March 8th to try to rid the country of a Trojan. Millions of computers are infected worldwide—maybe even yours.

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The DNSChanger Trojan originated in Estonia and might be lurking undetected on as many as a half-million computers in the United States, according to Brian Krebs. It has been found on the computers at half of all Fortune 500 companies and at 27 government agencies. The Trojan changes an infected computer's DNS settings to send users to fraudulent websites. What's more, the worm is particularly malicious in that it also prevents you from visiting security websites that might diagnose or fix the problem. While the men authorities suspect are behind the Trojan have been arrested, the Feds, working in concert with the Estonian government, have yet to put the final kill on the worm's botnet.

That's where the Internet shutdown comes in. The FBI has a court order allowing it to set up temporary replacement DNS servers so that those with infected computers or networks can get the worm off of their systems. The court order, however, expires on March 8th. Unless that order gets extended, anybody who hasn't cleaned up their act before it expires, might get cut off from the Internet altogether.

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Luckily, it turns out kicking DNSChanger is manageable—as long as you know you've got a problem. To learn more about checking your computer or network for the Trojan check out the DNS Changer Working Group and the FBI. [Krebs on Security via BetaBeat via Geekosystem]

Image via the FBI

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DISCUSSION

2 words:

Job. Security.

I've noticed that for 90% of all computer users, as long as it does what they want it to do, they don't care about anything else.

It's really slow. So what. It still works.

You notice a clicking sound? Meh. It boots fine.

We have many machines come in that are virtually unusable due to lack of RAM, (really? you're running Vista with 512mb?), viruses, or a hardware failure that it's stopped being funny years ago.

And when they check it in, they say, "It's been making a strange clicking sound for about a month, and now it says 'Can Not Locate Boot Drive'. I won't lose anything, will I? I don't have a backup."

All it takes is a good anti virus/malware tool and about 10 minutes a week to keep everything working nicely. (and by good, I mean not Avast/AVG/McAffee/Panda or any free one, really. they are junk unless you are adept with computers which most people aren't.)

Also, look at whats on your computer.

If there's anything on it you want to keep, BACK IT THE FUCK UP!

Hard drives fail.

Every single one of them will eventually fail.

If you want your music/pictures/porn/financial records/etc... back them up or you will lose it all.

Backups are stupid-easy and stupid-cheap these days.

And don't even get me started on people too lazy to update their virus definitions, let alone run a scan.

"What do you mean I have a virus? I have a program to stop them!"

Yeah. Let's see.....last update ran 7 months ago. Last scan run.....never.

Moron.

/rant