OUR THOUGHTS ON:

Has Your Computer Been Infected by DNS Charger?

Technology

By Patrick Armknecht

In November 2011, the FBI arrested a group of hackers responsible for installing the malicious software known as DNS Charger on victims’ computers. According to the article, “Hundreds of thousands may lose internet in July,” written by Lolita C. Baldor of the Associated Press:

     •     Hundreds of thousands of computer users utilizing the Microsoft Windows operating system were infected.
     •     The hackers’ software program was capable of turning off antivirus updates and altering the way the computer reconciles website addresses behind the scenes on the internet's domain name system (DNS).
     •     Victims’ computers were reprogrammed to use rogue DNS servers owned by the attackers, which allowed them to redirect computers to fraudulent versions of any website.
     •     Most victims don't know that their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

The FBI realized that the victims of the crime would be without internet access if they shut the hackers’ servers down. So instead, they installed servers to take the place of the infected servers used by the hackers. The FBI has indicated that these replacement servers will be unavailable after July 9, 2012. In light of the impending shutdown, the FBI is encouraging users to visit www.dcwg.org to determine if their computer has been infected with DNS Charger. Additionally, the website will provide guidance on how to fix the problem if your computer has been infected.

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