Inside Kaspersky Lab in Moscow. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles…)
As many as 64,000 Americans could be knocked offline Monday as a result of malware unless they change their DNS server addresses, according to a report.
The problem is exclusive to Windows users, but you can check if your computer is infected by clicking on this link. If you are, call your Internet provider, let its representatives know you were affected by the DNS Changer Malware and have them give you a new DNS address, which should solve the problem.
However, that link was down at least for some time Thursday morning, likely due to high amounts of traffic, so if that's the case, there are also various links on this help page to assist you in checking for the infection manually.
Google and Facebook have also been Good Samaritans and have been issuing alerts if their sites suspect infected users are logging on.
If you don't catch the infection in time, you can still fix the problem the same way. Simply contact your Internet service provider.
The problem is a result of a large online advertising scam that took over more than 4 million computers around the world.
When the FBI went in to shut down the scheme, the agency realized that turning off the malicious servers would cause infected computers to lose access to the Internet. So the FBI set up two other servers, which have been connecting infected users to the Internet, but they will be shut down on July 9 at 12:01 a.m. EDT.
As a result, 277,000 computer users worldwide as well as about 50 Fortune 500 companies could be affected by the shutdown, according to a report by the Associated Press.
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