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FBI could take down Internet for millions on March 8

On March 8, the FBI may be forced to shut down DNS servers, originally installed to stop the spread of the DNSChanger virus, which would cut off Internet access to millions of Web users worldwide.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation may soon be forced to shut down a number of key Domain Name System (DNS) servers, which would cut Internet access for millions of Web users around the world, reports BetaBeat. The DNS servers were installed by the FBI last year, in an effort to stop the spread of a piece of malware known as DNSChanger Trojan. But the court order that allowed the set up of the replacement servers expires on March 8.
In November of last year, authorities arrested six men in Estonia for the creation and spread of DNSChanger, which reconfigures infected computers’ Internet settings, and re-routes users to websites that contain malware, or other illegal sites. DNSChanger also blocks access to websites that might offer solutions for how to rid the computer of its worm, and often comes bundled with other types of malicious software.
By the time the FBI stepped in, DNSChanger had taken over computers in more than 100 countries, including half-a-million computers in the US alone. To help eradicate the widespread malware, the FBI replaced infected servers with new, clean servers, which gave companies and individuals with infected computers time to clean DNSChanger off their machines.
Unfortunately, DNSChanger is still running on computers “at half of the Fortune 500 companies,” and at “27 out of 55 major government entities,” reports cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs. These computers rely on the FBI-installed DNS servers to access the Web. But if the court order is not extended, the FBI will be legally required to remove the clean servers, which would cut off the Internet for users still infected with DNSChanger.
Companies or other agencies that are unsure whether their systems are infected with DNSChanger can get free assistance here. And private users can find out if they are infected using instructions provided here.

Internet service might stop by March 8, viruses corrupted computers

Washington: The Internet could go blank for millions of users as early as March 8 because of a virus that has corrupted computers in more than 100 countries.

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.

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