For days we've heard concerns and fears about DNSChanger, malware that would reportedly shut down the Internet for a widely debated number of people around the world. The reality is that DNSChanger is looking like a disaster averted.
The FBI took down the DNSChanger network. DNSChanger malware was created five years ago. The plan: Change DNS settings of infected computers and point to rogue servers. The FBI converted the rouge servers into legit DNS machines, set a deadline of today for the shutdown and set a working group to keep people updated.
Someone had to take the DNSChanger hit today. Rest assured the tech press is desperately trying to find these people. The problem: If you were hit by the DNSChanger malware it's not like you'd be able to Tweet for help. You'd be offline and no one would notice. You'd be a tree falling in the forest.
Here are a few CNET links to help folks out---assuming you can actually read this of course:
- Web users beware: DNSChanger victims lose Web access July 9
- How to detect and fix a machine infected with DNSChanger
- What the DNSChanger malware is -- and why you should care (FAQ)
By country, the DNSChanger risk was concentrated in the U.S., according to FBI stats. More than 45,000 machines were hit by DNSChanger. Italy had nearly 22,000 machines infected and India had more than 19,000 systems hit with DNSChanger. Great Britain had more than 13,000 machines infected and Australia nearly had 7,000.
Add it up and the DNSChanger bug has a Year 2000 bug feel to it. You expect digital disaster and then go "umm that was it?" That reaction isn't to diminish the work behind the scenes to minimize the problem, but let's face it: You rarely see digital Armageddon coming.