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Don't get knocked offline by DNS Changer malware—or phony malware-removal sites

Consumer Reports News: July 06, 2012 12:38 PM

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On Monday, July 9, hundreds of thousands of Internet users could lose Internet access because of DNS Changer malware from Rove Digital, an illicit online company shut down by police last year. And while global law enforcement agencies and Internet companies warn Web surfers to clean the malware off infected computers, Consumer Reports online experts also warn not to fall for online scams claiming to "disinfect" your PC from online risks.

Last year, an Internet consortium established a stop-gap network of safe computer servers to deal with the illicit computer code, which modifies Domain Name Servers (DNS) to direct unsuspecting Internet users to Rove Digital's computer servers rather than proper websites and Web search results. But the temporary network is slated to shut down on Monday, which could keep the tens of thousands of PCs and Macs still infected by DNS Changer from accessing the Web.

The DNS Changer Working Group has established a website to detect if your computer is infected with DNS Changer malware. The consortium has also links to various Web security sites for removal tips and tools at: http://www.dcwg.org/fix/.

Dean Gallea, Consumer Reports' senior program leader for computer testing, warns consumers not to fall for solicitations from unknown sources promising to remove online security risks such as DNS Changer. "Many of these sites host malware themselves," says Gallea.

Check out Consumer Reports online for more safe Web surfing tips and the Ratings for security software for the best computer programs to protect your online privacy and data.

Sources:
About DNS Changer malware [DCWG - The DNS Changer Working Group]
Operation Ghost Click and DNS Changer [FBI]
Malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday [Associated Press via Yahoo News]

Paul Eng

   

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