Your computer could be infected with a strain of malware without you knowing it. Traffic from computers with the trojan is redirected to malicious websites created by cyber criminals, who made millions of dollars in an online advertising scam.
Network Security Instructor at Madison College (MATC) Mike Masino says the FBI was able to track down the source of the malware, called DNS Changer. Investigators are maintaining the servers until all computers are rid of the malware. “They are gonna shut these machines down, which will stop the criminals from being able to get your information … the flip side is, if you don’t know that you’re infected, from your point of view it just looks like your machine stops working.”
That means infected computers — PCs and Macs — will no longer have access to the Internet on July 9. Masino says users can visit a website to see whether a computer is infected and how to fix it.
The FBI is estimating at least 360,000 machines are still infected in this fairly widespread cyber-attack that had affected almost twice that number. The malware also prevents anti-virus software from being updated, thereby making the computer vulnerable to more attacks.
Masino says you might be inadvertently giving your personal information to the hackers when you unknowingly use your password at a legitimate-looking fake website, as a result of the malware tricking your computer into being redirected away from your intended website. Masino says it’s always a good idea to frequently change your passwords.
The trojan first surfaced in 2007.