Will July 9th 2012 really be marked as the internet blackout day? Opinion varies about the real threat of DNSChanger. The news today is full of information about the glorious online world, but one of the headlines warns users in the United States and the United Kingdom that the rug might be pulled out from under them on July 9th. On that fated day, the Internet will suddenly vanish for hundreds of thousands of people—all with a mysterious computer virus known as DNSChanger.

dnschanger

This virus is relatively asymptomatic when in your system; it doesn’t crash your computer and it doesn’t invade your files. What this virus does is send users to illegal websites, all with just the click of a button. The FBI was made aware of the virus some time ago, and because of the large number of infected computers — over 350,000 — the government organization set up alternative servers so that users could continue to access the Internet without interruption. The endeavor was so costly, however, that on July 9th, 2012, the servers will be shut down. Anyone with the DNSChanger virus will not be allowed internet access. Unfortunately, most of the affected machines are owned by private individuals.

The reason computers with the virus were allowed to continue operations is because authorities didn’t feel it was fair to punish the victims of the computer malware. Instead of being able to attack the source of the criminal activity, the ones that were going to be hurt in the process were those who were inadvertent middle-men.

Origin of Virus DNS Changer

DSNChanger originated in Estonia, and the Trojan program prevents people from visiting websites that might help them remove it. The emergency servers put in place by the FBI were designed to help people find and remove the virus, and since the servers went operational, the number of infected computers has dropped significantly. Unfortunately, most of the machines that had the Trojan removed were from businesses, leaving thousands of personal computers still infected.

Why is the government so concerned about DNSChanger? The virus sends users to fraudulent websites. Some of these are designed to inspire anti-government sentiment or spread untrue rumors about world politicians and officials. The sites also open a gate to identity theft.

If you’re wondering if your own computer is infected with the virus, you can find out by trying to visit online virus protections sites. One of the calling cards of DNSChanger is that it prevents users from removing it. If you can’t access a popular malware-removal site, you need to assume you might be one of the infected.

Most people know when their computers are at risk. If you are frequently redirected to websites that you have no interest in or don’t match your search criteria, there is a good chance you have a malicious form of software on your system.  With this particular virus, taking the machine to a computer programmer to have the Trojan removed might be your only option.

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