350,000 Internet Users Could Lose Web Access on July 9 – Are You One of Them?

Operation Ghost Click is the name of a two-year, cyber-criminal investigation conducted by the FBI. The elaborate, DNSChanger scheme infected millions of computers worldwide. Users were typically unaware of the malware infestation, and the vulnerability left them open to other malicious attacks.

The criminal masterminds netted at least 14 million dollars by manipulating the Internet advertising industry. One agent working on the case stated, “They were organized and operating as a traditional business but profiting illegally as the result of the malware. There was a level of complexity here that we haven’t seen before.”

The DNSChanger virus redirected users to rogue servers operated by the cyber thieves. These servers would then manipulate the web activity of the infected computers. Users would click on an official website, but would be redirected to a rogue site instead. The rogue sites would sell similar software, services, etc – iTunes was used as an example in the FBI press release.

Operation Ghost Click resulted in the arrest of six people last November. The FBI also seized the rogue DNS servers and replaced them with legitimate ones. This was done so that infected users would not have their Internet access disrupted. The bad news is that these replacement servers are set to go offline on July 9, 2012. Any infected computer still utilizing these DNS servers will lose Internet access at that time.

Use the links below to see if your computer is infected:

United States: http://www.dns-ok.us/

Europe:          http://dns-changer.eu/

Australia:      http://dns-ok.gov.au/

If your system is in the clear, then no other action is required. If your system is in infected, the FBI advises users to contact a computer professional for removal assistance. It is a rootkit virus, so installing or running anti-virus software will not fix the issue. Average users will not likely have the technical knowledge to remove this on their own.

Recommended Resources

Do Not Track + is a FREE browser plugin created by Abine. This easy to install plugin keeps websites from tracking you. If you value your online privacy, then you should definitely take advantage of this free product.

BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams like this.

PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.

Action Alert | Free Parental Control offers a 100% free Internet safety solution designed for parents. There is also a Maximum Protection option for parents that need a more advanced set of tools.

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