JogjaFile – The FBI and security experts said a system of servers put in place in March to thwart a piece of malware called DNSChanger is about to end on Monday, and that people should make sure their computers haven’t been infected. CIOs say the impact on corporate networks will be minimal.
The malware infects peoples’ PCs when they click on malicious links and redirects browsers to advertising-filled sites run by criminals, while the FBI servers stop that hijacking.
In many cases, people don’t know that their computers were infected with malware—or that the government servers have been helping them counteract the effects. As the government-run anti-malware system ends, tens of thousands of people who never knew they had a problem could suddenly lose the ability to access the Internet. So security experts recommend that people use a public website to make sure that their machineshaven’t been infected, and to take corrective measures if there is a problem.
The malware is mostly an issue for consumers, and CIOs say they are prepared to address any fallout in corporate networks. DNSChanger infected nearly 4 million computers in more than 100 countries since 2007. Despite the FBI’s efforts to educate the public, not every person whose computers were infected with DNSChanger took steps to rid their machines of the malware; the FBI said the number of computers that may still be infected is more than 277,000 worldwide, including about 64,000 U.S. computers.
Though DNSChanger targeted consumers’ computers, the FBI said roughly 50 Fortune 500 companies have been found to have DNSChanger on some computers.
Several CIOs said they weren’t worried about the servers going off line. Equinix CIO Brian Lillie said the data center company uses several layers of security to defend against DNSChanger and other threats. He said he has seen no indications of DNS infections and does not believe the malware will have any impact on Equinix. “However, we continue to remain vigilant and monitor our systems and networks closely,” Lillie told CIO Journal.
Underwriters Laboratories CIO Christian Anschuetz said he has tested his company computers to make sure they are safe. He said the virus was easy to spot and remove, which makes it simpler for IT departments to handle. “Nonetheless, our support staff and help desks are on alert for any stragglers that may have gone undetected,” Anschuetz told CIO Journal. “We believe we are in good shape.”
Jeremy Pollack, IT director for the University of Connecticut’s School of Business, said the summer break means students aren’t bringing their laptops into the classroom and he is “not that worried about” other computers on UConn’s campus.
People who want to check whether their computers are infected with DNSChanger can visit language-specific websites; those whose PCs are found to be infected can “clean up” their computers by following instructions at the FBI’s website.