Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – July 5, 2012 - Hundreds of thousands of Internet users may lose their online access on July 9, 2012, and your Better Business Bureau is urging all consumers and businesses to run a quick and easy diagnostic test to see if their computers are infected. The FBI’s DNS Changer Working Group can detect the malware and explain how to fix infected machines.
“Everyone should check to see if their computer is infected,” urges Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “It takes less than a minute to check and, if your equipment is clean, there is nothing more you need to do. If your computer is infected, the DNS Changer Working Group recommends the necessary steps to save your computer. But this must be done by July 9th or you could lose internet access.”
Last November, the FBI took down the servers of international hackers operating out of Estonia. The hackers had already successfully downloaded malware onto more than half a million computers, turning off virus updates and redirecting consumers to fraudulent websites. If the servers had simply been shut down, the victims’ computers would no longer be able to access the internet. Instead, the FBI set up clean servers to replace the ones that were running the scam, and victims have been redirected to those clean servers ever since, usually without any knowledge they’d been infected in the first place.
Originally the rescue servers were to be active until March, but a court ruling extended the program until July 9th. At that time the clean servers will be turned off and anyone who is still infected with the malware will lose their internet access. The FBI believes there are still about 360,000 infected computers in a dozen countries, including the U.S. and Canada.
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.
For more information and helpful tips or to access a company's Business Review, visit www.bbb.org.
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