If your computer has this virus, you might be Internet-bereft come Monday

Posted by Randy Shulman
July 7, 2012 12:17 PM |
Computer innoculation

Okay, the truth is this post only impacts an estimated 45,619 computer users in the U.S. and more than 252,000 of you worldwide. Not a ton, and yet it seems a big enough number for your friendly neighborhood Technocrat to issue a friendly neighborly warning.

You might be infected.

Or, rather, your computer might be infected.

As noted in The Washington Post (via Bloomberg), the FBI is warning that "252,000 computers worldwide still carry a virus spread by a fraud ring that was dismantled last year. As a result, users of infected computers who don't scrub their systems might lose Internet access next week."

The virus had redirected users to the thieves’ servers, said Tom Grasso, a supervisory special agent with the FBI's Cyber Division in Pittsburgh. After the ring was broken up by authorities, the agency temporarily set up "clean" servers in November to prevent that from happening, a service that's set to end on [Monday,] July 9.

The virus interferes with a computer's ability to resolve domain names, making it appear that users are no longer on the Internet. Users who don’t fix the problem in advance will have to call their Internet-service providers for help reconnecting.

And we all know how much fun those calls are. So avoid the fuss now. Find out if you're infected by visiting dcwg.org and then do as Lady Macbeth suggests, "Out, damned spot. Out, I say." That is if Lady Macbeth were referring to a computer virus. Which she wasn't. She was referring to a ketchup stain.

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