Got your power back? Ready to lose Internet access next?
Last year, the FBI shut down an Eastern European criminal ring responsible for infecting millions of computers worldwide with a virus known as DNSChanger. Since then, the FBI has been operating — along with the nonprofit Internet Systems Consortium — a routing system (a safety “net,” if you will) to keep infected computers online.
Well, that complimentary routing service ends Monday, July 9. And according to reporting by the Washington Post and PC World today, your computer — as well as the one I’m writing on at the moment — may have been infected without our knowledge some time over the past five years. PC World estimates that close to 70,000 computers in the U.S. may still have the bug.
A quick check via this link should let you know if your PC or laptop has been compromised.
(Yay! My office desktop just got a clean bill of health.)
The FBI has more information available here.
According to an FBI news release last fall, six Estonian nationals were arrested via “Operation Ghost Click” and charged with running a sophisticated Internet fraud ring, enabling “the thieves to manipulate the multi-billion-dollar Internet advertising industry.
The Estonian hackers sought not just access to users’ personal login information, but also the ability to allow them to manipulate users’ commercial web activity. “When users of infected computers clicked on the link for the official website of iTunes, for example, they were instead taken to a website for a business unaffiliated with Apple Inc. that purported to sell Apple software,” according to the FBI. “Not only did the cyber thieves make money from these schemes, they deprived legitimate website operators and advertisers of substantial revenue.”
Sounds like another reason to keep old, brick and mortar record stores around. And cash, too.