Author Topic: Up to 500,000 internet users to lose access  (Read 1101 times)

Offline thaiga

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Up to 500,000 internet users to lose access
« on: July 09, 2012, 05:21:09 PM »
Up to 500,000 internet users to lose access as FBI blocks computers infected with virus

•Those who downloaded DNSChanger will be affected
•12% of top 500 U.S. firms have infected machines

If you cannot get on the internet today, there may be a good reason why - the FBI might be shutting you down.
The U.S. law enforcement agency will be blocking up to 500,000 users around the world who have a malicious program installed on their computer.
It will affect anyone who inadvertantly downloaded a piece of 'malware' called DNSChanger, which redirects users to fake advertising websites.

Internet providers have plans to help their customers on Monday and others are braced for calls to helplines because thousands around the country whose computers were infected with malicious software more than a year ago faced the possibility of not being able to get online.
The FBI is taking the unusual step in a bid to shut down DNSChanger, thought to have been created by Eastern European cyber-criminals.

It is not known how many computers in the UK are affected, but 12 per cent of the top 500 U.S. companies are said to have infected PCs or Macs.
Some providers may put technical solutions in place that will correct the server problem that could hit some computers after midnight EDT Sunday. It they do, the Internet will work, but the malware will remain on victims' computers and could pose future problems, said Tom DeGrasso, an FBI supervisory special agent.

The FBI arranged for a private company to run a website - - as a place where computer users could go to see if their computer was infected and find links to other computer security business sites where they could find fixes for the problem.
From the onset, most victims didn't even know their computers were infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.
Many computer users don't understand the complex machines they use every day to send email, shop, and cruise for information. The cyberworld of viruses, malware, bank fraud and Internet scams is often distant and confusing, and warning messages may go unseen or unheeded.
Marcin Kleczynski, chief executive of Malwarebytes, which makes a free piece of software designed to remove the malware, said: 'The FBI left the criminal servers running to give infected users time to remove this piece of malware, however it is estimated there are still hundreds of thousands of people who just don't know they are infected.
'Monday is D-day because anyone who still has this piece of malware on their computer simply won't be able to access the internet.
'This means people will struggle to repair the problem because they won't be able to download removal tools or access information through the infected laptop or computer.
'The total cost could be significant.'
A FBI spokesman said: 'We've been using the last eight months to go out and clean up the infected computers, but we don't have everybody.'

Experts are taking the warning seriously, but in reference to the Millennium Bug which supposedly threatened to shut Britain down, one blogger wrote: ‘Yet another ploy to get everyone freaked out…remember Y2K.’
There is an underlying sense that this will be much ado about nothing, such as the approach of 2000. The transition to that year presented technical problems and fears that some computers would stop working because they were not set up for the date change. In the end there were very few problems.
Considering there are millions of Internet users across the country, several thousand isn't a big deal, unless you're one of them.
Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and co-founder of Congress' cybersecurity caucus, said computer users have a responsibility to practice good sense and make sure their computers are not infected or being hijacked by criminals.
'These types of issues are only going to increase as our society relies more and more on the Internet, so it is a reminder that everyone can do their part,' he said.
FBI officials have been tracking the number of computers they believe still may be infected by the malware. As of Wednesday, there were about 45,600 in the U.S. - nearly 20,000 less than a week ago. Worldwide, the total is roughly 250,000 infected. The numbers have declined steadily, and recent efforts by Internet service providers may limit the problems on Monday.
If you see your computer isn't functioning properly throughout the day today, customer support lines could be your best solution.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Oh. Wait a second. The Internet didn’t break on July 9
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 03:31:00 PM »
All of the major news sources warned you about it. Huffington Post said, "The end is nigh, according to the FBI. Internet Doomsday will strike us all on July 9."

Fox News has been flashing scare stories, er, posting warning messages for months. Reuters. AP. MSNBC. ABC. McAfee. Starting in April, all of those reliable news outlets screamed about the "Internet Doomsday" on July 9.

I received a half-dozen emails from people on Phuket in the week leading up to July 9, with some people frantically asking how they could keep their systems going if the Internet broke.

Oh. Wait a second. The Internet didn’t break on July 9. Imagine that! Last Monday wasn’t Internet doomsday. In fact, it was kind of like any other Monday on the Internet.

Folks, if you really want to believe the scaremongering and click-baiting, you have every right to do so. It sells newspapers and draws advertisers. But at least get the story straight, and don’t panic other people with your disinformation, OK?

Estimates vary, but between 10,000 and 20,000 people had their access to the Internet temporarily disrupted on Monday because they had ignored all sorts of warnings (including direct warnings broadcast to infected machines by Google and Facebook), and just continued to use their infected machines without cleaning them up.

Cleaning the mess takes all of about a minute. If you’ve been updating your PC and/or using Microsoft Security Essentials – even if you have a pirate copy of Windows – Microsoft cleaned up your computer months ago.

I like to rail about mainstream news sources that "report" on technical topics, and botch them beyond recognition. This is just the latest in a long, long stream of offal disguised as journalism coming from writers who don’t have a clue. They’re egged on by the antivirus manufacturers who want to sell you more "safety" software, when all you need is the free, simple Microsoft Security Essentials.

If you can’t stand the idea of getting protection from the company that made the product being protected, you can always use AVG Free or ESET NOD32, but you have to be careful to avoid the paid versions.

There’s a reason why AV companies make so much money: they feed on fear and ignorance, two traits in wild abundance in the computer milieu.

Symantec Corp (the Norton people) now has a market capitalization of US$10 billion. Intel bought McAfee two years ago for US$8 billion. AVG is worth US$800 million. Moscow-based Kaspersky is worth more than US$1.5 billion, based on a valuation in January 2011.

My suggestion: don’t get your computer news from mainstream publications. If you see a tantalizing computer headline (e.g., "computer virus zaps San Diego fireworks show" which appeared yesterday) assume that the people who wrote it don’t know what they’re talking about.

And if the headline makes you reach for your pocketbook, take at least a minute or two to check with reputable sources before you part with your hard-earned baht.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


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Re: Up to 500,000 internet users to lose access
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 04:14:19 PM »
They just got the wrong date. It will be 21 December this year.