FBI Plans to Pull Temporary DNS Servers in July
April 23rd, 2012 By: THN News

(The Hosting News) – The summer of 2012 could present a problem for some Internet users. In July, the U.S. FBI plans to pull the plug on a variety of DNS servers currently being used as a fix for a malware problem investigated by the government authority during the course of the last couple years.

The malware known as DNSChanger was previously brought down in November of 2011. Cyber criminals had operated the scamming platform since its inception in 2007, successfully infecting systems belonging to millions of users worldwide.

According to the bureau, the mass virus operated by causing infected systems to redirect browsers to fake scam websites after users tried to legitimately type in their website destinations. The scam was all backed by “rogue” DNS servers.

“When users of infected computers clicked on the link for the official website of iTunes, for example, they were instead taken to a website for a business unaffiliated with Apple Inc. that purported to sell Apple software,” the FBI stated in November when detailing the operation.

Profits for the scam’s administrators were huge, raking in around fourteen million dollars in what the FBI referred to as “illicit fees” as many online users were duped into transactions on the fake sites. Although four million systems were affected worldwide, 500 thousand of those happened to lie inside the United States.

Meanwhile, the FBI faced an interesting dilemma in fixing the problem posed by DNSChanger: By simply pulling the rogue DNS servers, those infected with the malware would no longer be able to correctly access websites without individually removing the virus. A sudden and massive internet outage of nearly half a million systems was too large of a problem so the FBI decided to buy some time. That’s where the replacement DNS servers came into play, set up to provide legitimate website redirecting for those previously infected.

However, the plan was only temporary. Come July ninth, those replacement DNS servers will be pulled by the government and U.S. authorities are hoping enough time was provided for users to fix their malware problems. Online visitors can check whether or not their DNS settings are correct through a service linked here (forms.fbi.gov).

DNS services playing a large role in online browsing, allowing redirections to websites by translating web addresses into their respective IP codes. Recent weeks have seen malware dominate tech headlines. Computer giant Apple recently faced a problem when it was discovered that a virus had infected Macintosh users with a viruse taking advantage of exploits in Java.

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