I published this post yesterday, but just noticed that it was published as a page not a post. HA! So, excuse me for the just a tad untimely info. I should really not post late at night when half asleep. 🙂
By now you have heard of the malware that is going around that threatens to disconnect many, many computers from the internet.
What is DNS?
From Wikipedia: The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. A Domain Name Service resolves queries for these names into IP addresses for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide. By providing a worldwide, distributed keyword-based redirection service, the Domain Name System is an essential component of the functionality of the Internet.
What?? In other words DNS is what allows you to easily visit a website by name instead of IP Address. You can easily type http://littletechgirl.com instead of having to remember that my website’s address is http://22.214.171.124 (not real of course).
What is DNSChanger?
DNSChanger is malware that points a computer internet connection to malicious DNS servers that would in turn give them a “false” internet browsing experience. Per http://www.dcwg.org/ users would be presented with fake, malicious answers, altering user searches, and promoting fake and dangerous products. Because every web search starts with DNS, the malware showed users an altered version of the Internet.
Back in November several cyber criminals (aka hackers) were arrested during “Operation Ghost Click”. They ran a fake company and distributed DNS changing viruses to many. Under a court order the ISC is operating servers in place of the infected servers. But, that court order expires today, July 9, 2012. Computers that are infected with the DNSChanger virus will lose internet access.
What Can I Do?
Checking your computer to see if it is clean is easy. Just visit dns-ok.us to check. If you get a big green box, you are good. (Note: Not sure if the US page is just being hit hard or if it was taken down. If you have a a problem visiting that one, visit the Canadian page at www.dns-ok.ca). You can also use McAfee’s page to check your computer.
If all is ok you will see something like:
Once that is done, make sure that your virus software and malware protection are up to date. And if you are not in the green contact your ISP asap so that they can talk you through rectifying the problem.