I hadn’t heard of this until this morning and verified this issue with our computer consultation friends at Bronxville Computer. Yes, it’s a legitimate concern, but don’t worry as it’s easy to see if your computer could be affected. From Today’s USA Today here’s the situation:
WASHINGTON – For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer. Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.
Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.
Last November, the FBI and other authorities were preparing to take down a hacker ring that had been running an Internet ad scam on a massive network of infected computers.
“We started to realize that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because … if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without Internet service,” said Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent. “The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get ‘page not found’ and think the Internet is broken.”
Now, said Grasso, “the full court press is on to get people to address this problem.” And it’s up to computer users to check their PCs.
Here’s what you need to know from Bronxville Computer:
Here’s The Good News:
It’s easy to see if you’re computer is infected. Just click this link http://dns-ok.us/ and you’ll see a photo. If the background of the photo is green, your computer is okay. If it’s red, then you’ll need to take action before July or you could lose your Internet access. The test takes about three seconds.