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Be prepared for Internet blackout on Monday

Last Updated: Friday, July 6, 2012 - 19:22

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Malicious software Alureon that redirects web surfers’ way from trusted websites to spoof websites, is now threatening to blackout over a quarter-million computers from the Internet on Monday (July 9).

Computers inflicted with the Alureon virus will lose their ability to go online at 4.01 GMT (9.31 am IST) on Monday, and would be able to reconnect only after the malware is deleted – a task that would require the help of the Internet service provider.

The viruses were designed to redirect Internet traffic through rogue DNS servers controlled by criminals. DNS servers are computer switchboards that direct Web traffic.

This dangerous software found its way onto hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide late last year. It was designed to re-direct you away from trusted websites, towards spoof websites in a bid to steal financial and personal information.

Also, Alureon Malware was at the heart of a hacking scam in the US in 2011. As of this week, about 245,000 computers worldwide were still infected by Alureon and its brethren.

While the rogue servers were taken down, a US court had ordered that temporary servers be kept in place while the victims` machines were repaired. The temporary servers will shut down at 4.01 GMT (9.31 am IST) on Monday – implying, infected PCs that have not been fixed will no longer be able to connect to the Internet.

The problem gets accentuated as most victims are unaware that their computers have been infected. The malicious software probably would have slowed their surfing speed and disabled their antivirus software, but remained unknown.

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:

Experts consider Auleron as a small threat when compared with more-prevalent viruses such as Zeus and SpyEye, which infect millions of PCs and are used to commit financial fraud.

First Published: Friday, July 6, 2012 - 09:58
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