(July 8, 2012)—Thousands of computer users in Texas and hundreds of thousands around the world could lose Internet access Monday if they haven’t checked computers for malware they inadvertently downloaded after international hackers launched an online advertising scam in an effort to take control of infected computers around the world.
In November 2011, six Estonian nationals were arrested and charged with running the scam that infected millions of computers worldwide and an estimated 500,000 in the U.S.
“They were organized and operating as a traditional business but profiting illegally as the result of the malware,” said one of our cyber agents who worked the case.
“There was a level of complexity here that we haven’t seen before.”
In a highly unusual move, the FBI responded by setting up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for users whose computers were infected, but the court order authorizing the safety net expires on July 9 and after that infected users won't be able to connect to the Internet.
Users who don’t check computers for the malware and don’t take steps to remove it if it’s found won’t be able to access the Internet after Monday.
If your computer is infected, the FBI’s DNS Changer Working Group will provide the necessary steps to save your computer," the Better Business Bureau said.