Back in November 2011 a group of Estonian and Russian hackers were arrested for creating and running a botnet called DNSChanger. DNSChanger was true to its name, it changed the DNS address of the computer it controlled and directed it to rogue DNS servers. These rogue DNS servers were shut down by the FBI and the Internet Systems Consortium, a nonprofit company was assigned to run the replacement DNS servers so those who had effected machines wouldn’t lose their connection to the Internet. That was over eight months ago and the time that the court assigned the Internet Systems Consortium to run the replacement DNS servers has run out. So on Monday, July 9, these replacement DNS servers will be shut down. The computers that are still connected to these DNS servers will no longer be able to connect to the Internet. There are an estimate 300,000 computers that are still effected. These are not only personal computers, but also computers run by Fortune 500 companies.
The FBI has set up a site where you can check to see if your system has been effected and what to do if it has been. Most likely if you have kept your computer updated and have run your anti-malware and virus programs you will be ok. However we all know someone who never updates their system either because they are too lazy or for some reason believe they are invulnerable. If you know someone like that, suggest they go to the site the FBI set up. If they decide not too, you may get a call Monday morning if you are the computer “expert” of the family, with them screaming they can’t connect to the Google.
The most interest part of this story of course was not the DNSChanger bot, itself, but how the FBI and the court handled it. They could have shut it down immediate and the results would have been the same for those 300,000 plus 270,00 more. By delaying the shut down they did allow those 270,000 to recover. However it seems to me they dropped the ball in getting the word out. This didn’t become big news until the past week. I am not sure if the court and the FBI is to be blamed for this, or is it the media’s fault for not getting the word out. Whose ever fault it is, communication was lacking.