So what is the real deal with the DNSChanger virus that will shut down everyone's Internet access on July the 9th? Here are some quick facts to get us started.
So here is the deal. A group of individuals wrote a virus that would re-direct your web browser to their DNS servers, which would intern re-direct your browser to the site or sites of their choosing. When that happened, they would receive advertising dollars for the visits and or clicks.
The group successfully infected computers over a period of 4 years with a total number of infections nearing 500,000 in the US alone. It is estimated that they grossed nearly $14 Million in revenue during those 4 years. They were caught and arrested this past November.
Rather than shut down the DNS server that the criminals were using, the FBI changed the DNS servers so that they simply worked like real DNS servers, pointing peoples Internet browsers to the correct web sites. They did this to avoid effectively shutting down so many peoples Internet. Apparently, they have now decided that they no longer wish to remain in the DNS hosting business and are going to shut down those DNS servers completely.
So if you were infected by this virus at some point and your computer has not been cleaned yet, you will no longer be able to access web sites by their domain name because the DNS servers that your computer has been configured to use are about to go offline.
The reality is however, that if you were infected by this virus that by now your computer would already be so infected with other viruses that it would be practically un-useable. You see, this virus also disables your virus protection and is a root kit, so it can hide from many forms of virus protection.
It has been reported that it can also infect some wireless routers, in which case you may not know that you are infected. This doesn't however pose any threat to your computer, data, etc. It just means that if your internet stops working on July 9th, 2012, that you should call iSTAM and let us fix it for you.
This virus and reported Interent outage produces no real immediate threat to your systems or hardware. However, if you believe that you are infected with a virus, or if your Internet access stops working on July 9th, you should call us so we can investigate and clean your computers and network.
The best protection against viruses is a good virus protection software such as Symantec Anti-Virus, Norton Anti-Virus, or Microsoft Security Essentials paired with the iSTAM monitoring/management service. Our monitoring service insures that your Anti-Virus software is running and up to date everyday.
You should also avoid questionable sites, sites that offer anything for "FREE", and never open email attachments unless you are absolutely sure it is legit. We also recommend checking the URLs on any links in emails before clicking on those. These things can effectively "invite" viruses in and that renders your AV protection initially helpless against them. If you do one of those things, you may get a second chance to avoid infection. See our Avoiding Viruses KB Article for more information.