‘Internet blackout’ set for 9 July: FBI to ‘pull plug’ on 350,000 virus-infected machines

‘Internet blackout’ set for 9 July: FBI to ‘pull plug’ on 350,000 virus-infected machines – cutting off Web for users in U.S. and UK

By wmw_admin on April 25, 2012

Rob Waugh – Daily Mail April 25, 2012

On 9 July this year, the internet will suddenly ‘turn off’ for thousands of users around the world.

 

Around 350,000 PC users have machines infected with an invisible, undetectable ‘Trojan’ computer virus called DNSChanger, which sends users of the Web to unintended – and sometimes illegal – sites.

When the FBI detected the infection they set up ‘surrogate’ servers to keep the infected PCs working – but it’s costing so much that they intend to ‘pull the plug’ on 9 July. 

‘If we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure, the victims were going to be without internet service,’ said Tom Grasso, an FBI agent talking to Fox News.

According to RT Network, servers function by translating traditional website URLs to their ‘numeric counterpart.’

But computers with the Trojan, which originally emerged in Estonia, will send users to fraudulent websites.

And, if the FBI shuts off their emergency servers, millions of people could potentially be without Internet.

The temporary servers set up by the FBI were created to allow companies to remove the worm from their infected servers; those affected had 120 days to get rid of the malware.

After FBI warnings, the number of PCs infected with the Trojan has plunged – and most are in the hands of private individuals, not companies.

Of the 350,000 infected machines worldwide, 85,000 are in the U.S and 20,000 are in the UK.

The malware is especially effective, Gizmodo reports, because it blocks infected users from visiting secure sites that could help them rid of the worm.

Law enforcement officials and the computer industry have been working together in a coalition to fight the malware.

The group, called the DNSChanger Working Group, will examine possibilities to fixing the problem.

If no solution is reached, millions of people could be without the Internet, RT reports.

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