Despite repeated attempts by Google, Facebook, and the FBI to get people to check their machines, it’s estimated that there are still more than a quarter of a million affected computers around the globe – and about 64,000 of those are here in the U.S.
The problem started when a bunch of hackers ran an advertising scam last year in an attempt to compromise users’ computers. The FBI caught wind of what was happening, but agents quickly realized they couldn’t shut down the malicious servers without knocking everyone who had been affected off of the internet.
The FBI, therefore, brought in a private security company to install clean servers to take over for the compromised servers so people wouldn’t suddenly be cut off from the web.
Those clean servers will be shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 9.
It’s not just individual computer users who could be affected, several Fortune 500 companies could also find themselves without internet connectivity on Monday, according to Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent.
Facebook and Google have tried to raise awareness of the problem by creating their own warning messages that display if someone using either website seemed to have an infected machine.
Facebook users would see a message that reads, “Your computer or network might be infected,” along with a link that users can click for more information. Unfortunately, there is so much spam on Facebook these days, many users were probably afraid to click on such a link.
Google users saw a similar message, which would have been displayed at the top of a Google search results page.
So what can you do about this problem? You can check to see if your computer has been affected by visiting http://www.dcwg.org, a website established by the FBI, and following the on-screen instructions.
With any luck, you’ll see a message like one in the photo above and you’ll be all clear. Good luck!
- Malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday (miamiherald.com)
- Malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday (foxnews.com)