Security Sense: Is Your Computer Infected?
Posted by Robin Herriff Wed, June 13, 2012 10:52 am EDT
Come summer, you and your computer could be in real trouble. The good news is, there’s an easy way to stop that trouble before it ever starts.
Hackers infected more than 500,000 computers around the world when they ran an online advertising scheme designed to take control of infected computers. The scam redirected computers to fraudulent websites, and the scammers made at least $14 million in profits from advertisements on the fake sites.
Most infected users don’t even know their computers are compromised, although the malicious software has probably slowed down their web surfing. Also at risk? The same antivirus software that should be protecting them.
Last November, the FBI shut down the hackers, but realized that once the scam was over, victims would be left without Internet service. According to Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent, "The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get 'page not found' and think the Internet is broken." So the FBI set up a website run by its security partner to keep that from happening.
The informational site is http://www.dcwg.org. You can also go directly to http://www.dns-ok.us/ for a very quick and simple check to see if your computer is infected. If it is, the site will tell you how to fix the problem.
“College computers running the latest version of our antivirus software should be fine,” says Ron Smith, Associate Vice President of Computing Infrastructure, Security and Compliance, as well as Chief Information Security Officer for the College, “but we occasionally find out there are computers without [the software] around the college. We also block [the virus] coming into the college from the Internet, but can't prevent people bringing it to work with them on their laptops.” Smith says staffers should also check their home computers.
Please keep in mind, though, that the fraudulent site will be shut down on July 9th, and after that, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.