There seems that there is a security alert issued almost weekly for those of us traveling on the internet. This week a DNS Security Alert was posted for July 9, 2012.
First things first. What exactly is DNS anyway? Basiclly DNS is short for Domain Name System. A Domain Name System Service resolves queried internet site names from [numeric] IP addresses for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide easily & quickly. For example, without the DNS system, everytime you wanted to shop online at amazon.com you would need to remember 126.96.36.199 as opposed to simply amazon.com. What an inconvienance that would be, although it would probably save alot of us some money!
Apparently there has been a problem with this for some time and If you are one of thousands of people infected with the DNSChanger malware, you should get rid of it before Monday.
On July 9, the FBI will be switching off servers it has been using to keep those networks infected with the malware working on the Internet.
DNSChanger was first discovered in 2007 and was found to have infected millions of computers worldwide. It effectively modified a computer’s DNS settings to redirect traffic through its rogue servers. When users typed in a domain name in a browser, the servers would direct them to other sites for the creators’ evil plans.
Late last year, the FBI disrupted the crime ring and converted the rogue servers to clean servers to give infected users time to fix their systems. A host of tools and techniques have surfaced for removing the malware, but thousands of machines are still affected. If DNS Changer is not removed from those computers, users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.
The good news is that we are OK here at the Borough. I double checked our server’s DNS and we should be crusing the internet normally long after July 9, 2012. You can check at home to see if you are ok by clicking here. I will also cover DNS a little more detail in the July technology newsletter.