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Web could vanish for hordes of people in July, FBI warns
cnet.com ^ | April 21, 2012 | Edward Moyer

Posted on 04/26/2012 2:30:18 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave

The FBI is warning that hundreds of thousands of people could lose their Internet connections come July, unless they take steps to diagnose and disinfect their computers.

The problem is related to malware called DNSChanger that was first discovered way back in 2007 and that has infected millions of computers worldwide.

In simple terms, when you type a Web address into your browser, your computer contacts DNS (or Domain Name System) servers to find out the numerical Internet Protocol (IP) address of the site you're trying to reach, and then it takes you there. DNSChanger fiddled with an infected machine's settings and directed it to rogue servers set up by a crime ring -- servers that handed out addresses to whatever sites the ring chose.

As a U.S attorney said in an FBI press release, the crooks "were international cyberbandits who hijacked millions of computers at will and rerouted them to Internet Web sites and advertisements of their own choosing -- collecting millions in undeserved commissions for all the hijacked computer clicks and Internet ads they fraudulently engineered."

Late last year, however, the FBI disrupted the ring and seized the rogue servers. And since so many infected computers relied on the servers to reach the Internet, the agency opted not to shut them down and instead converted them to legitimate DNS machines.

Running the machines costs the government money, though,so they're being switched off in July. If your computer is infected with DNSChanger then, the Web -- for you -- will no longer exist.

The DNSChanger Working Group (DCWG), the body set up to oversee the servers, has created a Web site to help you diagnose your machine and, if necessary, remove DNSChanger. You can check it out at www.dcwg.org. And it's probably not a bad idea to do so sometime before, say, July 8 (the DCWG says the servers will be shut down the following day).


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: fbi; hdtv; internet; malware; tech
http://www.dcwg.org/the-dns-changer-clean-dns-servers-will-be-turned-off-on-july-9-2012/

In order to assist victims affected by the DNSChanger malicious software the FBI obtained a court order authorizing Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to deploy and maintain temporary Clean DNS servers. The solution is temporary and intended to buy time so that victims can clean affected computers and restore their normal DNS settings. For more information on DNSChanger visit the FBI’s Operation GhostClick Information Page.

1 posted on 04/26/2012 2:30:24 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
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To: ADemocratNoMore; advertising guy; aft_lizard; AJMaXx; Alice in Wonderland; american colleen; ...

Of possible interest to the ping lists..


2 posted on 04/26/2012 2:32:55 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave ("All 57 states must stand together and defeat O-bozo! VOTE the usurper out!!")
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Ping


3 posted on 04/26/2012 3:06:37 AM PDT by ishmac (Lady Thatcher:"There are no permanent defeats in politics because there are no permanent victories.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave
"I say let 'em crash."


4 posted on 04/26/2012 3:33:03 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Ping for later.


5 posted on 04/26/2012 3:38:19 AM PDT by paudio (no tagline for now...)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

It would have been more useful to have the DNS machines route everything to a web site which displayed a page telling you that your machine is infected, and directing you to an Apple or MS site with instructions on how to fix it.


6 posted on 04/26/2012 3:43:08 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Thanks for posting this. Very interesting. I just checked all my computers and got the green on all of them.


7 posted on 04/26/2012 4:13:59 AM PDT by samtheman ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ-4gnNz0vc)
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To: Las Vegas Dave; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

But FR will still be up. :’) Thanks LVD.


8 posted on 04/26/2012 4:19:51 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: samtheman

Yeah I got that green screen thing too...but did you read the fine print?

It said you could still be infected....

Ugh....just like the government what a waste of effort.


9 posted on 04/26/2012 4:27:27 AM PDT by EBH (God Humbles Nations, Leaders, and Peoples before He uses them for His Purpose)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I’d rather work with MS or Apple (yes, I have both) to resolve a real problem, should it occur, than let the government scan my hard drives.


10 posted on 04/26/2012 4:36:48 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: EBH

I just followed the instructions on checking your system by examining the Windows7 configurations. That, along with the checker sites, should do the trick.


11 posted on 04/26/2012 4:40:44 AM PDT by Old Sarge (RIP FReeper Skyraider (1930-2011) - You Are Missed)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Thanks for the information!


12 posted on 04/26/2012 5:07:42 AM PDT by Whenifhow
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To: Las Vegas Dave
This is why on my desktop and laptop computer, I have Norton Internet Security 2012 running, let it automatically update the malware definitions, and run a full system scan every Saturday morning. That way, I don't worry about potential malware attacks since NIS 2012 is extremely aggressive about monitoring all Internet access activity.
13 posted on 04/26/2012 5:11:48 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: PapaBear3625

Too friggin’ brilliantly simple. Therefore the government will never do it.


14 posted on 04/26/2012 5:24:52 AM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I’ll always take these advisories seriously after getting pummeled by Conficker on about 30 machines.

Might mean a little extra cash on the side though.


15 posted on 04/26/2012 5:47:55 AM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: RayChuang88
I don't worry about potential malware attacks since NIS 2012 is extremely aggressive about monitoring all Internet access activity.

I just cleaned a rootkit and about 100 malicious files off a computer with NIS 2012 this past weekend. They didn't know anything was wrong until the computer started bluescreening on them.
16 posted on 04/26/2012 5:50:28 AM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: Las Vegas Dave

For the Horde!


17 posted on 04/26/2012 6:19:30 AM PDT by Biff55 (Defend yourself!)
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To: PapaBear3625
It would have been more useful to have the DNS machines route everything to a web site which displayed a page telling you that your machine is infected, and directing you to an Apple or MS site with instructions on how to fix it.

That would have required someone with knowledge of how the web works in order to implement.  One single DNS entry and a webserver with Apache rewrite rules. This is apparently too much for the gnomes at the FBI.

18 posted on 04/26/2012 6:39:45 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: zeugma

bflr


19 posted on 04/26/2012 7:01:47 AM PDT by freebird5850 (Just don't have a tagline today. This administration makes me quite sad.)
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To: zeugma

Does anyone else think there is a lot of weirdness going around today?
Reasons:
1. Muslim sex with dead wives.
2. Navy naming a ship after Harvey Milk.
3. Doomsday computer warnings.


20 posted on 04/26/2012 8:49:22 AM PDT by jayrunner
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I don’t understand. Why doesn’t the FBI give the fix to Symantec, ZoneAlarm, Norton, Malwarebyes etc?


21 posted on 04/26/2012 9:25:44 AM PDT by GOPJ (Hoodies - because you can't kill a security camera for snitchin' - - freeper tacticalogic)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I don’t understand. Why doesn’t the FBI give the fix to Symantec, ZoneAlarm, Norton, Malwarebytes etc?


22 posted on 04/26/2012 9:26:04 AM PDT by GOPJ (Hoodies - because you can't kill a security camera for snitchin' - - freeper tacticalogic)
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To: EBH
It said you could still be infected....

Yes it did, but not with the DNS Changer, it means other types of infections, since it only checks for the one thing.

23 posted on 04/26/2012 11:14:39 AM PDT by itsahoot (I will not vote for Romney period, and by election day you won't like him either.)
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To: mmichaels1970

I have Norton, and last week I started getting email errors..lots of them. I called Norton for help since I’m no wiz at computers. Spent about an hour with them and they said it was fixed. Well, I don’t get the errors anymore, but today I did a full system scan and had 150 files of Trojan.smoaler and Trojan.gen that were supposedly resolved by the scan. I’ve never had that many attacks before, ever.


24 posted on 04/26/2012 12:51:36 PM PDT by virgil
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To: virgil
today I did a full system scan and had 150 files of Trojan.smoaler and Trojan.gen that were supposedly resolved by the scan.

Nothing is full-proof. I personally don't care for Norton for a couple of reasons:

1. You have to pay for it every year.
2. Nothing is full-proof...not even software you pay for.
3. Norton seems to have a pretty heavy footprint, in that things just seem to run much slower as Norton enforces its live protection policies.

Now I'm not saying to go out and dump it, but it just isn't my particular tool of choice.

When people bring their computers to me for repair/malware removal, I normally install Microsoft Security Essentials. It's certainly better than nothing, and I prefer it because:

1. It's free.
2. Nothing is full-proof. Might as well get the same adequate protection with a free product.
3. Footprint is generally light, computer seems to behave just as quickly with it as without it.
4. People will gag at this one, but...it's by Microsoft. If I'm trying to protect a computer with a Microsoft OS on it, than who knows the important system files, weaknesses, exploits and such as well as Microsoft would.

In all, I recommend:

1. Have some sort of antivirus protection. Microsoft Security Essentials if you don't want to pay for it.
2. Keep an updated copy of the free scanner from malwarebytes.org. Run an update and scan at least every two or so weeks.

That should be enough for most users to stay relatively safe.
25 posted on 04/26/2012 1:19:04 PM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: mmichaels1970

Thanks for the recommendations. My computer is getting old. I’ve had it for about 7 years. It whines. I’m just waiting, waiting for the hard drive to fail. It may be time or a good excuse to get a new one. :-)


26 posted on 04/26/2012 1:55:44 PM PDT by virgil
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To: PapaBear3625

PapaBear, that would have actually required logic. Can’t have logic and rational thought sneaking its way into a bureaucracy! ;)


27 posted on 04/26/2012 3:31:44 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
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To: Las Vegas Dave

This isn’t the worst thing in the world. Given the likely Presidential matchup, I won’t have much interest in politics then.


28 posted on 04/26/2012 3:33:52 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (There will be no vote for Myth Romney in my house. Period.)
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To: jayrunner

Only saw one of those items besides this thread... Will have to look into that Navy story.

The Muslim thing with Egyptian law though - that’s got me really scratching my head. I wasn’t aware there were ANY religious, social, or political groups that advocate for acceptance of necrophilia - pretty sure that’s a “no-no” for ALL religions I’m aware of. I’m not naive, and I’m sure there are “cults” or perhaps several individuals in a “group” of some sorts that may participate in such behavior, but to “decriminalize” it... very strange.


29 posted on 04/26/2012 3:50:36 PM PDT by LibertyRocks
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To: Las Vegas Dave

"We're headin' out West, we heard there might be some Internet there, so we're headin' out Californee-way."

30 posted on 04/26/2012 3:54:15 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: mmichaels1970

What do you think is the best security system?


31 posted on 04/26/2012 4:50:03 PM PDT by GOPJ (Hoodies - because you can't kill a security camera for snitchin' - - freeper tacticalogic)
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To: mmichaels1970

What do you think is the best security system? Don’t you assume if this is bad that the FBI will voluntarily share the information with Norton?


32 posted on 04/26/2012 4:50:41 PM PDT by GOPJ (Hoodies - because you can't kill a security camera for snitchin' - - freeper tacticalogic)
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To: GOPJ
What do you think is the best security system?

A semi-educated user is best. Other than that, I don't have a favorite as I think they are all imperfect. Microsoft Security Essentials is what I install on every computer I come across without other anti-virus protection. If a client comes to me with Norton, Symantec, Kaspersky, or other, I leave it installed as is.

Don’t you assume if this is bad that the FBI will voluntarily share the information with Norton?

Yes. I would think they would. However, I think the FBI is getting their knowledge from the "working groups" which are probably sharing with Norton and the other antivirus companies already.
33 posted on 04/27/2012 12:54:46 PM PDT by mmichaels1970
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