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Internet virus could bring havoc in July
You'll remember Y2K: that crisis leading up to 2000 where programmers feared that operating systems would fail. Well, there's another computer hype that could leave thousands without the internet in just over a month.
When an online advertising scam infected thousands of computers, the FBI established a safety net to minimize the disruptions. But come July 9th, that safety net will be eliminated, meaning so could the internet for those who don't take action soon.
"It's actually a trojan that was released around 2007 where they basically hijacked your DNS servers, DNS is the part of the internet where it takes the name you type in your web address bar, and converts it into the numbers that the internet system uses," said Hastings College IT Help Desk Specialist Erik Nielsen.
But international hackers took those numbers, and redirected them to sites to try to get information out of the computer user. It's a move the FBI has been able to control.
"Well, the FBI and other governments, they kind of hijacked that virus, that trojan themselves and then they took over the DNS that they were redirecting and redirected them back to the legitimate sites so that it was like you weren't infected at all," Nielsen said.
But soon, that service will no longer be provided.
"So when the FBI shuts down their ghost click server set on July 9th, these people may not be able to get on the internet at all until they remove that root kit," said Computer Service Technician Gary Hewitt.
So what can you do to make sure you, aren't one of the infected come July 9th?
"The big thing is to purchase an antivirus. One that's reputable, that's very known, one that you can trust," said Computer Hardware Salesman Thomas Hiatt.
But be careful... Now some companies are taking advantage of the need for anti-viruses, and pretending to offer a solution.
"They'll just pop up and pretend to scan your computer, and it will come up and say you've got 432 virus traces, click here to remove them, when you click here what you've done is you've just downloaded their virus on your computer," Hewitt said.
The key is to upgrade your reputable antivirus software, and take precautions.
"The internet is not going down July 9th," said Hewitt.
"They're trying to get that last little bit of people who haven't fixed their machines to fix it. This won't take down the internet," Nielsen said.
To find out if your computer has been infected with the virus, visit www.dcwg.org.
If you do have the virus, computer technicians say that it will be much easier to fix prior to July 9th, so make sure your antivirus is updated before then.
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