New York: There are always some twisted hackers trying to pull the plug on the Internet. This time around, the culprit is a bit of malware known as the “Internet Doomsday” virus, which threatens to take down about a quarter-million computers worldwide today.
According to Politico, the FBI predicts that only about 64,000 US computers are still at risk of losing the ability to connect to the Internet because of the nasty virus'; but worldwide, the number could reach hundreds of thousands.
For the most part the hacking scam seems to be under control and the FBI has our back. The FBI spotted the threat in November last year, and set up special servers to block the malware in the US. However, on 9 July, the FBI is taking that firewall down. Tech experts say that this is the moment to protect your laptops and you can never be too careful.
Red or green?
“The easiest thing to do is to visit the FBI's website to see if your PC is infected. It couldn't be simpler: the website shows up red if your PC is infected, or green if it's OK,” according to ABC-affiliated WCPO.com.
“Click here for the special page (it could take a few attempts, as it may be overloaded.) Or type www.dns-ok.us. into your browser. It is not expected to impact smart phones or tablets. Red if your PC is infected, or green if it's OK,” emphasised the website.
The quick fix
If the page comes up red, you don't have up-to-date antivirus protection, and your computer could be hit. In this scenario, the DNS Changer Working Group (DCWG) says you should first back up any important files on your computer. All you need to do is back up your stuff with an external hard drive or even a thumb drive (or small USB drive).
If the DNS Changer check-up page shows up red, download current antivirus software, from a paid program.
Scanning your computer regularly for viruses also makes infinite sense, say tech experts.
If you have a bit of anti-virus software hopefully, the 9 July deadline will pass without the “Internet Doomsday” virus taking down your computer.
The good news is that the United States has already charged seven people for orchestrating the nasty worldwide Internet virus. Reuters reported that six hackers were arrested in Estonia, while the seventh, who was living in Russia, is still at large.