DNSChanger – The Apocalyptic Computer Virus

The day they turned off the safety net servers for victims of DNSChanger came and went with little incident. For months, the FBI and computer professionals had been warning that infected computers would lose their Internet connection if the virus was not removed. All that warning paid off as no one complained that they had been affected but then they may all be disconnected from the Internet.

Not to make light of a very serious situation, but this was reminiscent of the Year 2000 or Y2K computer scare.  So many reported that computer systems around the world would lock up or do worse by sending random commands that would disrupt financial, power and emergency systems everywhere.  The basic problem was that older programs did not leave enough space for a four-digit year like 2012.  For years, programs had been using two-digits like 95 for 1995.  You can see how this would cause problems.  The Y2K bug came and went without much disruption not because there wasn’t an issue, but because affected programs were fixed in advance of the date change. Certainly, this is why we heard so little about DNSChanger because most of the infected computers had been fixed.

Then today a report states that the address blocks which many thought would be suspended have been released.  This means that the still infected computers can be hijacked again.

The issue is that there are continuous threats from computer viruses.  The criminal groups and attack methods will change but the risks are real.  Be sure that you are protected and try to practice safe computing.  Implement a three-prong strategy of educate, protect, monitor.  If you think you may be infected and don’t know what to do, consult an expert.

And never pay a fine or fee to a pop-up window on your computer, website or email.  These are the most common type of computer scam called “ransomware”.

About Mary

Mary is the CEO of LAN Systems. She is an electrical engineer who feels her greatest strength is the ability to connect with people. LAN Systems provides IT managed services and solutions to growing companies and non-profit organizations. You can contact Mary at mary@lansystems.com.

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