Thousands may lose Internet access on July 9, but fix is easy

You could lose access to the Internet July 9. To avoid this fate, the FBI is asking consumers to run a quick diagnostic on their computers.

International hackers operating out of Estonia infected millions of computers with malware that redirected infected users’ computers to fraudulent websites. Since the FBI busted the hacking ring in November, it has been directing those computers to clean servers. However, those servers will be turned off July 9.

Consumers whose computers are still infected with the malware at that time will be unable to access the internet.

The FBI’s DNS Changer Working Group can detect the malware and explain how to fix infected machines. It takes less than a minute to run the test. If your computer is infected, the DNS Changer Working Group will provide the necessary steps to save your computer.

Protect yourself from online scams:

    • Research before you click. To try and gain your trust, hackers will create convincing-looking messages that entice consumers to click the advertisement. Before clicking on an unknown popup, take the time to research the company on your own.
    • Protect your computer. Install updates to your operating system for free by enabling the option on your computer’s security center. Keep all anti-virus software up-to-date and make sure all security patches and updates are installed for programs that access the Internet.
    • Protect your personal information. Don’t provide your personal information or credit card information to an unknown company or website. Look for “https” instead of “http” or a padlock icon at the bottom of the screen which will indicate security software is in place.