The computer script, called DNSChanger Trojan, taps into fraudulent servers, sending users of the Web to unintended – and sometimes illegal – sites.
Though the FBI has shut down the DNSChanger network and put up surrogate servers, they warned the solution was only temporary – and the court-ordered deadline is March 8.
According to RT Network, servers function by translating traditional website URLs to their ‘numeric counterpart. But computers with the Trojan, which originally emerged in Estonia, will send users to fraudulent websites.
The temporary servers set up by the FBI were created to allow companies to remove the worm from their infected servers; those affected had 120 days to get rid of the malware.
According to security company Internet Identity, as many as half of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as two dozen government entities could go dark once March 8 roles around.
The malware is especially malicious, Gizmodo reports, because it blocks infected users from visiting secure sites that could help them rid of the worm.
The group, called the DNSChanger Working Group, will examine possibilities to fixing the problem. If no solution is reached, millions of people could be without the Internet.