Computer users may find themselves without internet over the summer, if they don’t correct the problem soon.
Hackers ran an online advertising scam taking control of infected computers around the world. The FBI caught on to what was happening and set up a safety net before busting the hackers. The system the FBI put in place is only temporary and will be shut down after July 9th.
The FBI is encouraging those who think their computer may be affected to visit http://www. Dcwg.org. There they can find information about whether their computer may be infected and what can be done to fix the problem.
Most victims do now know their computers have been hacked. Warning signs that you may be victim include slower web surfing and disabled antivirus software. Your computer may also be vulnerable to other problems.
The FBI became aware of the scam and prepared to bring in down last November.
“We started to realize that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because…if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without internet service,” stated Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent. Grasso says if the victim attempted to use the internet, they would be told “page not found” and think problem was due to the internet provider.
On the night of the arrests, the FBI borough in Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, to install two Internet servers to take the place of the rogue servers the infected computers had to use. The servers were only intended to be in place until March, but a federal judge in New York extended the deadline until July, citing more time.
The FBI arrested six Estonians in connection with the hacking. The hackers were able to gain $14 million in profits from their scheme involving the use advertisements. The total cost of the hacking on the federal government was $87,000.
The FBI states that as many as 568,000 computers were affected worldwide, with 85,000 of the hacked computers being in the U.S.