Internet doomsday virus appears to fizzle

The so-called Internet doomsday virus with the potential to black out tens of thousands of computers worldwide appeared to pose no major problems Monday after a temporary fix expired.

Security firms reported no significant outages linked to the DNS Changer virus, as many Internet service providers have either implemented a fix or contacted customers with steps to clean their computers.

The problem stems from malware known as DNS Changer, which was created by cybercriminals to redirect Internet traffic by hijacking the domain name systems (DNS) of Web browsers.

The ring behind the DNS Changer was shut down last year by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Estonian police and other law enforcement agencies, after infecting some four million computers worldwide.

Some 210,000 computers worldwide remained infected as of Sunday, including more than 41,000 in the United States, according to a working group monitoring the problem.

On Monday, temporary servers set up by the FBI to direct Internet traffic normally, even for infected computers, were shut down.

But security specialists said most Internet users and providers have had time to work around or fix the problem.

"Although it's not completely over, I think we can count case DNS Changer as a success story, said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Finland-based firm F-Secure, in a Twitter message.

"Many global operators are keeping their DNS Changer victims online, even after FBI stopped," he said in a separate tweet.

Johannes Ullrich of the SANS Security Institute said that for computers running Windows, the computer "may actually revert to the default settings once the DNS server is turned off."

He added, that "if you used the bad DNS server, chances are that various entities tried to notify you. Google for example should have shown you a banner."

Additionally, Ullrich said the malware is "old enough where antivirus, if you run any, should have signatures for it."

Six Estonians and a Russian were charged in Estonia in November with infecting computers, including NASA machines, with the malware as part of an online advertising scam that reaped at least $14 million.

Because the virus controlled so much Internet traffic, authorities obtained a court order to allow the FBI to operate replacement servers until July 9.

The FBI, as well as Facebook, Google, Internet service providers and security firms have been scrambling to warn users about the problem and direct them to fixes.

A has been monitoring and educating people about the malware, with a website http://www.dcwg.org.

FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said the temporary servers were indeed halted and that the agency had no reports of outages.

"I'm not aware of any problems," she told AFP.

"If members of the public are not able to use their Internet they should contact their Internet service providers."

The working group website said traffic directed to the servers that were under temporary control "will be monitored by several service providers and security organizations to insure they are not maliciously hijacked."

Experts said that if a computer is infected, they could still access the Internet by reconfiguring the way they access the domain name system.

Instead of entering an address such as ebay.com, they could use the underlying address, which is a series of numbers, said Marco Preuss of the Russian security firm Kaspersky on the company's Securelist blog.

"If you know the address of the server you can still use it instead of the name, e.g. 195.122.169.23 is 'securelist.com' but this is not an easy solution," he said.

Others with more technical savvy can also reprogram their computer's network settings, to access public DNS servers such as one operated by Google.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile
    Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago believes granting Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile house arrest, while former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains under hospital detention, will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “That’s already a violation of the equal protection of the law,” she said. …

  • 8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study
    8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study

    Eight of 10 world cities most exposed to natural hazards are in the Philippines and more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to earthquakes, storms and other disasters are in four Asian nations, according to a research. The study, published on Wednesday by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, analyzed the threat posed by storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes and landslides in more than 1,300 cities. The study found that the 10 cities most at risk are Port Vila in …

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • UNA hits PNP selection process
    UNA hits PNP selection process

    The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) hit yesterday the apparent machinations in the selection of the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief. Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA interim president, said the administration and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) are perpetuating the bata-bata or patronage system in the selection process of the police chief. “They will start this by maneuvering the appointment of Gen. Garbo as PNP chief,” said Tiangco, referring to one of the top contenders for PNP …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options