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On Bryce’s Mind

By Staff | Jul 13, 2012

Monday of this past week was supposed to be “internet doomsday”, as news media outlets have called it. Computers infected with a nasty form of malicious software (malware), a virus called “DSNChanger”, would not be able to access the internet. (DSN stands for domain server name, which allows computers to talk to each other, and access the internet.)

How bad is this form of malware? Bad enough, apparently, that the FBI is in the fray.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Back in November the FBI, according to an article on CNN.com, charged seven people in connection with “Operation Ghost Click”, a scheme in which people were sent to web sites they didn’t want to visit, and these sites had fraudulent ads on them. Said schemers made off with a cool $14 million. The FBI then shut down computers the schemers used to change the flow of internet traffic, but that would mean that infected computers would not be able to use the internet if needed, so the federal agency then turned on its own computers to use as a backup.

But the FBI turned off those computers on Monday.

42,000 computers in the U.S. were infected by “DSNChanger”, out of a total of 211,000. However, the article also states that in that form of malware’s heyday, 4 million computers were hijacked.

Still, there are over 1.6 billion PC’s worldwide, and over 300 million of those are in the U.S. Those numbers of computers are still subsets of subsets, of even more subsets. Just because 42,000 computers can’t get online doesn’t mean that the internet is undergoing an apocalypse, especially when millions of others can get online if they choose to.

But if you’re like me and like being able to use the internet, then the following are things you should probably take in to consideration. If you haven’t been able to get online for a while, call your internet service provider. Another option would be to call Jeff Armstrong, he’s quite good at fixing computers. Or if you have a friend who can get online, borrow his or her computer and go to www.dcwg.org/fix and follow the instructions. And lastly, install updates and some anti-virus software. There are some free trials online you can download, and some free forms of software (“avast”, for example) that may or may not last a month, but it’s better than nothing.

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