FBI Predicting Thousands of Users Will Lose Internet Access In July

It is the era where every computer user connects to the Internet to check about the latest happenings. It is impossible to imagine a day without Internet in the life of such technology geeks and enthusiasts where the routine of the day begins from reading and browsing through online newspapers.

But, fast forward to the month of July and times could literally change. It is just a small difference of a few mouse clicks which will determine the whether you could be staying online or losing all your Internet connections this summer.

What’s the Issue?

This fact may be unknown to most of them but this problem began when some international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. To counter this attempt by these hackers, the FBI undertook an unusual step and set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent the Internet disruptions for those infected users. But according to latest reports, that system is to be shut down.

How to be Safe?

To avoid blackout of Internet, the FBI is advising users to visit a website run by its security partner that will help them to inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet. 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.

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The story traces back to last November when 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.”

How it Happen?

The hackers infected the network of probably more than 570,000 computers worldwide. They took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system to install malicious software on the victim computers. This turned off antivirus updates and changed the way the computers reconcile website addresses behind the scenes on the Internet’s domain name system.

The DNS system is a network of servers that translates a web address – such as teckilla.com – into the numerical addresses that computers understand. The affected computers were reprogrammed to use the rogue DNS servers owned by the attackers. This allowed the attackers to redirect computers to fraudulent versions of any website.

The hackers earned profits from advertisements that appeared on websites that victims were tricked into visiting. The scam netted the hackers at least $14 million, according to the FBI. It also made thousands of computers reliant on the rogue servers for their Internet browsing.

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Blogger · Programmer · Web Designer A final year engineering student with a passion for technology and an avid interest in gadgets possessing knowledge in wide areas ranging from operating systems such as Windows, Linux to web technologies such as HTML, PHP, AJAX. I’ll be sharing all this technical knowledge with you on Teckilla along with all the latest happenings on the Internet.

7 Responses to “FBI Predicting Thousands of Users Will Lose Internet Access In July”

  1. Steve

    Apr 22. 2012

    I am willing to bet my computer is not infected, unless the hackers have gone to the trouble of targetting freshly installed Linux machines…

    Reply to this comment
  2. Rita Dawson

    Apr 24. 2012

    Hope my computer is not one among the list. A day without surfing through internet is impossible and I think I should make sure that my computer is not infected. Thanks for sharing such informative post. I suppose it will be of great help to many people.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Nathan Brown

    Apr 24. 2012

    Losing internet connection because of virus is not good. Viruses must be eradicated and only the respective governements can do it. Some service provicers can also help by installing firewalls so that securing the internet will be much easier.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Nathan Brown

    Apr 25. 2012

    Hope that does not happen. Some precaustionary steps should be taken up on an emergcy basis. The faster that is done the better. Law enforcement agencies should be trained to nip the bid in the beginning so that such things don’t happen. That there is little possibilityo of getting immediate help is frustrating enough.

    Reply to this comment

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