‘Internet blackout’ set for 9 July: FBI to ‘pull plug’ on 350,000 virus-infected machines – cutting off Web for users in U.S. and UK

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2134853/Internet-blackout-set-9-July-FBI-pull-plug-350-000-virus-infected-machines.html

  • Machines infected with virus being ‘kept alive’ by FBI
  • Operation costing so much FBI will ‘pull plug’ on 9 July
  • 350,000 PCs infected, mostly private individuals
  • 80,000 victims in U.S., 20,000 in UK

By Rob Waugh
UPDATED: 06:50 EST, 25 April 2012

On 9 July this year, the internet will suddenly ‘turn off’ for thousands of users around the world.

Around 350,000 PC users have machines infected with an invisible, undetectable ‘Trojan’ computer virus called DNSChanger, which sends users of the Web to unintended – and sometimes illegal – sites.

When the FBI detected the infection they set up ‘surrogate’ servers to keep the infected PCs working – but it’s costing so much that they intend to ‘pull the plug’ on 9 July.

 

Around 350,000 PC users have machines infected with an invisible, undetectable 'Trojan' computer virus called DNSChanger, which sends users of the Web to unintended - and sometimes illegal - sitesAround 350,000 PC users have machines infected with an invisible, undetectable ‘Trojan’ computer virus called DNSChanger, which sends users of the Web to unintended – and sometimes illegal – sites

 

Infected: The Trojan 'DNSChanger' could cause millions - including Fortune 500 companies - to lose their Internet if the FBI shuts down surrogate serversInfected: The Trojan ‘DNSChanger’ could cause millions – including Fortune 500 companies – to lose their Internet if the FBI shuts down surrogate servers

Court order: The FBI has been ordered to retire their surrogate servers by March 8Court order: The FBI has been ordered to retire their surrogate servers by March 8

‘If we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure, the victims were going to be without internet service,’ said Tom Grasso, an FBI agent talking to Fox News.

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.

And, if the FBI shuts off their emergency servers, millions of people could potentially be without Internet.

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.

After FBI warnings, the number of PCs infected with the Trojan has plunged – and most are in the hands of private individuals, not companies.

Of the 350,000 infected machines worldwide, 85,000 are in the U.S and 20,000 are in the UK.

Ticking clock: The FBI's surrogate servers can run until March 8, at which point they will either have to be shut down or run by a court-ordered extensionTicking clock: The FBI’s surrogate servers can run until March 8, at which point they will either have to be shut down or run by a court-ordered extension

The malware is especially effective, Gizmodo reports, because it blocks infected users from visiting secure sites that could help them rid of the worm.

Law enforcement officials and the computer industry have been working together in a coalition to fight the malware.

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, RT reports.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2134853/Internet-blackout-set-9-July-FBI-pull-plug-350-000-virus-infected-machines.html#ixzz1t16SbRSr

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Posted on April 25, 2012, in Politics, Science / Technology, US Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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