‘Doomsday’ Warning Pop Up Legit

Monday, May 7, 2012 @ 07:05 AM gHale

Always beware of messages that just don’t seem legit. However, if you get a message over the next few weeks or so that says “Your computer has DNS settings that mean you probably have the DNSChanger malware,” then you may want to pay attention.

That is because the DNSChanger malware, dubbed “Internet doomsday,” which could hit by July 9 for PC and Mac users who haven’t taken steps to make sure their systems aren’t infected with DNSChanger malware.

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The malware is vicious and can interfere with users’ Web browsing, push them to fraudulent websites and make their computers vulnerable to other malicious software. The FBI put a safety net of sorts in place, using government computers to prevent any Internet disruptions for users whose computers may suffer from the malware. But the government’s safety net goes away July 9, and starting on that day, you may not be able to get an Internet connection if your computer suffers from an infection of the DNSChanger malware.

Two companies, OpenDNS and CloudFlare, have put together the message alert system to help more than a half-million U.S. users believed to have the DNSChanger malware on their computers and don’t know it, and who may not have read about it in recent weeks.

Both companies are doing the program as a “goodwill effort,” according to a spokesperson for OpenDNS. They have been working on “detecting IP addresses and recognizing those associated with the malware.”

Infected users will get a message as a pop up on their computer screen. The message says, in part, the user’s Domain Name Server settings suggest “you probably have the DNSChanger malware.”

The ad hoc DNSChanger Working Group has a new website that links to instructions on how users and organizations can find and remove DNSChanger from their machines, along with updates on the effort. The FBI also has a Web page devoted to fixing the problem.

If you are among those seeing the new message, and don’t take any action, you’ll keep getting the message until you do — right up until July 9, when your Internet connection ends.

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