What's the internet doomsday virus expected on 9th July?
Don’t get scared by the so-called ‘INTERNET DOOMSDAY’ virus – Geek Squad have you covered!
There has been quite a lot of scaremongering recently in the news and tech industry about the after-effects of a virus infection which targets users' internet settings that occurred a few years ago. Don’t worry though, Geek Squad are here to set the record straight and make sure that you're not affected with a few easy tips on how to avoid any ill effects.
What is the internet doomsday virus?
Back in 2007, a particularly nasty Trojan referred to as a ‘DNS changer’ spread across the web, infecting Windows computers and Macs alike. The infections target something called DNS settings, a set of information inside the computers operating system that allows computers to locate websites on the internet. Every website address that you see (like www.geeksquad.co.uk for example) has to be translated into a set of numbers (called an IP address) in order for your computer to be able to find the site and display the content in the browser window. The virus went about changing the way that the computer collected this information so that the system could be re-directed to a site of the hacker's choosing, not the site the user intended to visit. This could potentially lead to your computer taking you unknowingly to an infected website when all you wanted was the Cbeebies page – no fun.
At the time this was such a big deal that the FBI tracked down the gang of 6 Estonian hackers that were re-routing the traffic and they were all arrested after stealing around $14 million! To make sure that people's machines been infected could continue to browse the internet, the FBI replaced the hackers server (responsible for the re-routing) with a clean and healthy one that has been running without issue to this very day.
Here comes the twist - the FBI, in a cost saving exercise, have decided to shut the server down, which means that if you have been using this facility unknowingly, you might lose your internet connectivity when this takes place on the 9th of July.
Will I be affected?
It’s important to check whether or not your machine will be affected by the infection and luckily that’s really easy to do. Simply visit this webpage to find out if your machine is infected. It will tell you if you are using the right DNS settings and are safe, or are using the infected server and need to clean up your computer.
If you get the all clear, you should see an image similar to the one below:
I think my machine might be infected. What can I do?
It’s important to remember that we can help you at every stage of this process, so if you're not sure, have any questions or just don’t fancy having a go at fixing this yourself, give us a call and we will walk you through the fix!
There are two tools that have been specifically designed by anti-virus manufacturers to deal with this issue. Kaspersky offer a tool called TDSSKiller available here, and Symantec offer FixTDSS from here.
Simply run the tool following the instructions on the screen and you won't have any issues removing the virus infection from your machine. There have been some rare cases where these tools have not been able to completely clear the infection so if you find yourself affected by a loss of internet connectivity on the 9th of July, please don’t hesitate to call us and we can help to resolve the problems for you.
As ever, keeping your computer system up-to-date and making sure you have an up-to-date anti-virus package with the latest definitions installed will help to make sure you avoid any future re-occurrences of similar infections.