- Internet & the Web
The Doomsday Virus
The end of the Internet
Back in 2007, a trojan known as the "DNS Changer" was created by a number of Estonian malware authors. These people were arrested by the FBI in what is known as the largest cyber criminal take down in history. Over the course of four years, these cyber criminals infiltrated more than 4 million computers all over the world. It redirects the browsers of unknowing victims to their rogue websites and servers and collected more than $14 million in false advertising revenue. In the process of acquiring their earnings, Internet users were subjected to theft of personal and financial information.
The FBI set up a sting operation known as "Operation Ghost Click" that ended this criminal activity. The Federal Bureau of Investigation are left with a problem though. If they shut down the servers, the infected users, over 1 million in the United States alone, would be unable to access the Internet. The date believed to be the end of Doomsday Virus infected machines is believed to be July 9, 2012.
How the Internet virus works
The Internet virus targets the DNS settings of computers, a set of information that resides inside a computer's O.S (operating system). The DNS settings allows machines to access the Internet. All web addresses are translated into numbers or IP addresses, but the doomsday virus redirects users to websites of the hackers choosing. Infected computers could be taken to malicious sites and not know about it, putting them at high risk of identity theft. These servers are no longer operating for this purposes, but they are about to be shut down in efforts by the FBI to save money.
After the arrests, the FBI replaced the hacker's servers with clean ones. This is costing too much money to maintain so it was decided these servers would be shut down completely. With infected DNS settings, computers will be no longer able to access the Internet due to the virus. There are ways to save your Internet, if infected, by July 9, 2012.
How to save your computer
Because of the threat this infection has, two anti-virus companies have designed software specifically for this problem. Kaspersky created the TDSS Killer and Symantec has the Fix TDSS tool. All you have to do is run the tool, and the Internet Doomsday Virus will be removed from your computer using any of the two tools listed. It's rare that these tools are unsuccessful at removing the DNS Changer infection, but if it is the case you can contact Geek Squad for support. Keep your system and anti-virus definitions updated and future problems can be avoided.