By JO TIMBUONG
PETALING JAYA: Computer users here who have not yet removed the DNSChanger malware (malicious software) from their machines, will find that the devices cannot connect to any websites on July 10.
This is because several servers that belonged to hackers and were reprogrammed by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to cancel the effects of the malware, will be shut down on July 9 in the United States (July 10 in Malaysia).
"PCs still infected with DNSChanger will not be able to go anywhere on the Internet after the deadline," said Goh Su Gim, a security adviser at network security expert F-Secure Malaysia.
"This is because the computer domain-name server settings have been changed by the virus, causing it to point to the rogue servers that were setup by the hackers."
Goh explained that the FBI had reprogrammed those rogue servers to work as legitimate servers following the arrest of six Estonian hackers believed to be behind the malware, last November.
But this was a temporary measure, aimed at giving computer users worldwide more time to purge DNSChanger from their machines.
What is worrying is that network security experts believe many PC users have not bothered to check their machines for the malware.
Checking is easy. There are online tools that have been created to help users detect DNSChanger.
One of the tools was created by our own CyberSecurity Malaysia. This can be found at http://dnschanger.detect.my it detects and removes the malware if it is present.
Another is by F-Secure; get it at http://bit.ly/JEPBiz.
For more information about DNSChanger, go to www.dcwg.org.