by Robert M
The FBI is going to sever websites infected with a trojan virus (called DNS changer) from the Internet on July 9th. DNS changer, a virus that popped up in 2007, redirects computers to websites created by hackers. As a result “cyber-criminals sold at least $14 million in advertisements.” To add insult to injury, the trojan also prevents infected computers from updating or using anti virus software. Thus, the problem has become self perpetuating. The FBI caught the criminals responsible, and now have servers set up in place of the hackers servers. However, they are going to remove these servers on July 9th, which means that when infected computers attempt to access them, there will be nothing there. On the plus side, they should then be able to use anti virus software either via disc or via download (from another computer).
It’s a pretty drastic step that the FBI is taking here, but sometimes drastic is necessary. There are over 350,000 people with the DNS trojan on their computers, and you can bet many of them don’t even know that they are infected. So expect some sort of backlash when people suddenly realize they can’t access the internet. Especially when those unaware of what is happening will probably not be able to fix the problem without help, or access to the internet through another venue. I’d hate to be the person working at the help desk for ISPs on July 9th.
Though some would argue that the FBI is being pretty big brothery, I think it’s best that they stop maintaining the temporary servers that were set up in place of the ones run by the cyber criminals. This is especially true considering they were Estonian, and thus the servers are most likely hosted outside of US soil. So when you think about it, not shutting them down would be more big brothery as they would be extending their reach further than many think it should be able to go.
Newman, Jared (2012). FBI Steps up ‘Internet Doomsday’ Awareness Malware Campaign. PC World. http://www.pcworld.com/article/254279/fbi_steps_up_internet_doomsday_awareness_malware_campaign.html