Codebreaker

Hundreds of thousands to get kicked off Internet

John Moe Jul 5, 2012

On Monday, the Feds (the Fuzz, the G-Men, the Heat, the Coppers) will kick lots of people off the internet when they shut off access to computers infected the DNSChanger virus.

Here’s how the scam worked, according to the CBC:

The FBI, in association with international law enforcement, managed to track and apprehend six Estonians using an ostensibly legitimate front company who had organized a sophisticated system of false DNS servers.
These servers rerouted the web browsers of infected computers to sites of the hackers’ own choosing, some of which were fraudulent in nature.
Computers were forced to connect to the internet through these servers by a customized virus called DNSChanger that was distributed along conventional channels, such as infected emails, bad websites, and malware scripts.


Since that bust, the FBI has been running the servers benignly but they’re now going to pull the plug even though hundreds of thousands of people never managed to clean up their computers. As of July 9th, if those people want to get online, they’re going to have to get the virus off their machines.

The Gummint says the baddies netted $20 million over the life of the scam. But now they’re headed to the hoosegow, the pokey, the clink, the Graybar Hotel, the joint.

 

To find out if your computer is one of the affected, go to the FBI’s DNS website.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

😱 Halfpriced hoodies! 😱 

This weekend only, when you donate $90 or $8/month, you can snag our cozy new Marketplace zipup hoodie. Don’t wait– this offer ends Sunday at midnight.