Alureon Virus to black out nearly 2.5 lakh computers on Internet around the world. About a quarter-million computer users around the world are at risk of losing Internet access on Monday because of malicious software at the heart of a hacking scam that US authorities shut down last November. Some blogs and news reports hyped the risk of an outage, warning of a potential “blackout” and describing the Alureon malware as the “Internet Doomsday” virus.
The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world.
When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.
In a highly unusual move, the FBI set up a safety net. They brought in a private company to install two clean Internet servers to take over for the malicious servers so that people would not suddenly lose their Internet.
But that temporary system will be shut down at 4.01am GMT (9.31 am IST) on Monday, July 9 and would be able to reconnect only after the malware is deleted – a task that would require the help of the Internet service provider.
However, the good news is that it is easy to fix. Information on how to identify and clean up infections can be found on a website that a group of security firms and other experts set up: www.dcwg.org.
Warning from FBI: If you have ‘Alureon’ virus on your PC, you WILL get kicked off internet on Monday
- Hundreds of thousands of PCs still at risk worldwide
- Virus ‘spoofs’ popular websites in attempt to steal personal information
- Around 50 Fortune 500 companies still have virus in their machines
- FBI ‘ring-fenced’ the virus late last year – but protection ends on Monday
- Scroll down for advice on checking your PC