Viruses, infections, bugs - like the human body, computers are
also susceptible to various types of diseases that can put them out
of commission. Earlier this year, a particularly mean piece of
malicious software (malware) began to surface. Once present on a
computer, the DNSChanger will do exactly what it claims - change
the DNS and DNS server information for the computer it infects.
What's a DNS?
released a document that provides a thorough explanation, as
well as information about the DNSChanger. In short, a DNS is a
naming system that links computers to an address for a webpage. If
a computer can't contact the right DNS server, it can't load the
right webpage. However, DNSChanger doesn't remove the DNS
information from the computer it infects. Instead, it changes it to
a different server, so that no matter what website you type in, you
will always load up a fraudulent site.
So what's the big deal?
Since the FBI has taken steps to counter DNSChanger, your
computer may be infected with DNSChanger right now and not know
The FBI has created "safe servers", where computers infected
with DNSChanger are redirected to avoid further trouble until they
clean their computer and get rid of the malware. However, the FBI
will remove these safety precautions on July 9th, 2012
the FBI document again for more information).
When the safe servers go down, so will the fraudulent sites that
the FBI has found. However, if an infected computer is still
pointing to a fraudulent DNS address, that site will no longer
exist, and the computer won't be able to access the Internet until
the DNS information is reset.
How can I tell if my computer is infected?
There are some free tools that Xplornet recommends using as part
of a 2-step process.
This tool will tell you if your computer is infected by DNSChanger
or not - if your screen turns green, you're in the clear; but, if
it turns red, move on to step 2.
You can use this
tool to remove DNS Changer.
Great, so my computer is all clean?
You got rid of this particular piece of malware for now. There
might be other viruses, malware or trojans that exist on your
computer that you aren't aware of.
Keep checking this page on a regular basis for more suggestions
on how to protect your computer against viruses, malware, trojans,