Thousands of people across the globe stand the risk of being shut down from the internet from Monday, the 9th of July, 12:01 AM EDT. After months of extending the deadline, the FBI has finally decided to pull the plug off users still having the “Alureon” malware on their PCs!
The Alureon malware spread through a massive online advertising scam and took control of over 570,000 computers across the globe. Having installed itself, it redirected web visitors from the authentic websites of popular establishments to spoof websites run by the cyber criminals, to steal financial and personal information.
The FBI went after Alureon and succeeded in taking over its command and control servers. However, it then found out that if it were to take down the command and control servers, the thousands of computers that the malware commandeered would lose access to the internet altogether.
As a temporary solution, while the infected users clean up their systems, the FBI set up a ring fence or a safety net, installing two clear servers to take over the malicious servers.
Despite repeated alerts over the past year, 277,000 computers out of the initial 360,000 ones still remain infected, and this list includes around 50 Fortune 500 companies as well. In most cases, the victims do not even realize that they are trapped into Alureon even though signs such as the internet slowing down and the anti virus software not working should make a vigilant user sense something wrong.
The FBI has finally decided to shut down the temporary servers on July 9 2012. Once this happens, the affected users will have to clean their computers of the malware before they can regain access to the internet.
To check if you are among the unfortunate 277,000, visit this FBI-approved site http://www.dns-ok.us. A green background indicates you are safe. If a red background appears, either visit http://www.dcwg.org/fix or call your service provider.