If you find yourself unable to log online this coming Monday, a malicious software program known as the DNS Changer may be to blame. The FBI is shutting down the servers that control the malware this coming Monday. YNN's Melissa Kakareka tells us what you need to do to make sure your computer is not infected.
UNITED STATES -- Thousands of people are rushing to run virus scans on their computers as warnings about a malicious software program called the DNS Changer spread across the country.
"We've probably gotten 30 calls today, of just random people who just read the newspaper and want to figure out how to make sure they don't have it," said Jared Bosket, Technician at the Computer Emergency Room.
The malware is the product of an international hacking scam. It redirects the IP addresses of infected users.
"Picture if somebody broke into your house and stole your phonebook and replaced it with another one and instead of calling Broome County you are calling a 911 number. They are redirecting your queries to these pop up driven advertisement services," said Red Barn Computers Chief Engineer Jason Somers.
The two internet servers set up by the FBI last year to control the problem will be shut down on Monday, causing thousands of people to lose internet service if they haven't fixed an infected computer.
"On Monday those DNS servers are going to be turned off and you going to be left to your own devices to how to get online. If your computer is infected, if your DNS settings are wrong, you're not going to be able to get get to certain sites or get online at all," said Binghamton University Information Systems Specialist Michael Nostrom.
There's an easy way you can tell whether or not your computer is infected with the malware. Several sites have been set up such as dcwg.org, that site will give you information as well as links where you can check if your computer is infected. If the results turn up green, then your computer is alright.
If your computer does have the virus, users can follow the online instructions to fix it themselves or can seek out a professional.
"People who are computer saavy or have friends who are computer savvy can most likely follow the directions, if not we have services available as do others in the area to get the virus off," said Somers.
Steps that can easily fix the problem before Monday.
It's estimated that about 277,000 computers are currently affected worldwide. 64,000 of those computers are likely in the United States. Infected computers show no signs of the virus.