FOX5 Vegas – KVVUThousands still threatened by hidden computer malware

July 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know


Tens of thousands of computers are still infected with the widely publicized “DNSChanger” malware, which threatens to disconnect internet access on Monday.

It's estimated that around 4 million computers were infected in more than 100 countries. by now that number is down to about 40,000 to 60,000 computers in the U.S.

At PC Laptops in Henderson, technicians are answering a lot of calls from concerned users. About three dozen called on Friday alone, asking about the DNS (Domain Name System) Changer and what to do.

“Your DNS – or what tells your computer to connect to this network, no longer exists,” explained Richard Preston, a computer technician.

Many users took action after the malware was discovered and shut down in November, 2011. the malware itself could have infected computers in a number of ways, including links and downloads. the motive is to redirect internet access to rogue servers, thus feeding them with your personal information. the FBI will turn off the malicious servers on July 9.

“Come Monday, if you see (a connection error), it means you need to take your computer to your closest computer shop and have them reload it for you,” Preston said.

Las Vegas Internet provider Cox Communications told FOX5 that its users don't have to worry – even if their devices are infected.

“Our customers will not notice any sort of event – nothing at all – so we've really taken precautions to ensure that what's happening on Monday will be absolutely seamless,” said Juergen Barbusca, Las Vegas Cox Communications Manager.

Cox estimates less than 1 percent of its customers will have an issue. another popular provider, CenturyLink, said in a prepared statement that it too is working to avoid any problems.

The company statement reads: “Our goal is to not only help the limited number of customers impacted by the virus to get rid of the serious infection prior to July 9, but also make sure they have the information they need to maintain stronger Internet security.”

But, even if you're one of the few still affected by the infection, it only impacts internet service.

“Everything is still there – all your files are still there, you just no longer have access to the internet,” Preston said, adding that the malware can affect PCs, Macs and tablets.

See the links on the right for more information, or to instantly test your computer for presence of the DNSChanger malware.

Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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