Legitimate Internet Threat – July 9th – You COULD lose your internet connection…

By Sandra Clitter  

There is so much misinformation on the internet and about the internet, that sometimes it is hard to tell truth from fiction. This time, rumors that you might lose your internet connection on July 9th, 2012 ARE LEGITIMATE!!!! The more technical description circulating about this malware is ‘DNS Changer’ (which means nothing to most non-technical people).

FEAR NOT, however, as there is a way to check and a way to correct, should your computer be infected.

Background: Back on November 8, 2011, the FBI arrested a group who was using a botnet (one type of method for computer infection) to ‘hijack’ users computers. This group was known as “Rove Digital” and was wrecking havoc in computers across the world. If you’re like me, you ask, “So, if the FBI arrested the bad guys back in November, what do I have to worry about on July 9th”. In laymen’s term, here is what happened:

Something called a ‘DNS’ takes part in every internet search you do, or every connection you make through the internet. The user friendly URL’s that you enter into your browser (e.g. www.google.com) or search results you click use a DNS to translate the user-friendly URL into techno-babble. An analogy is that a street address is translated by your GPS into longitude and lattitude coordinates. Similarly, the internet uses DNS to translate from a URL that you and I understand, to a computer server’s technical address, and delivers you to that site.

The bad guys injected half a million computers with malware that would redirect you from the destination you WANTED when you enter information in the URL to some other location giving you false results on your screen that LOOKED legitimate. In other words, they gave you an alternate view of the internet universe. WHY? To make money from advertising…illegitimately…among other things.

The FBI and others not only uncovered and arrested thieves, but went one step further in making sure that the ‘bad’ servers (the ones that infected machines are directed to) were replaced with ‘good’ servers (clean ones that the Internet Gods control). So, since November, any computers infected with the malicious code have been getting ‘good’ results. In other words, infected machines have been re-routed to the correct web sites according to their searches and URL’s clicked. Infected machines display no ‘symptoms’.

Sounds good, right? Well, here’s the rub. On July 9th, 2012, these replacement servers are BEING TAKEN OUT OF SERVICE. What does this mean to you? If your computer is infected, then your computer will be unable to figure out which website you’re trying to get to when you open up your browser, and you will be in an internet blackout. The idea is that during the time between November 2011 and July 2012, people could carefully mitigate the evil infection without an unplanned outage. Unfortunately, if you don’t check, you might still find yourself with an ‘unplanned outage’.

FIND OUT NOW IF YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED!!! Go to http://www.dcwg.org/detect/ (it just takes a second) and find a link with which to conduct a test. If you’re clean, you will have no issue on July 9th. If, however, your computer returns infected, follow the directions on the trusted sites (you can get there through either of the links below) and clean it before July 9th.

(More info here or here or here)

Over time “Rove Digital” infected over 500,000 computers – INCLUDING APPLE COMPUTERS!!! Better safe than sorry!!!


  1. Posted August 14, 2012 at 7:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am curious to find out what blog system you have been utilizing?
    I’m having some minor security issues with my latest site and I would like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Posted August 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi, Justine!

      We use WordPress for our blog and it has been stable and secure. Make sure that you have strong passwords associated with it – both on the hosting company AND within the blogging software. That’s critical. Most of the reputable blogging platforms – WordPress, Blogger, Blog.com, Tumblr – are constantly monitoring, improving their security. Make sure that you’re on the latest version of the blogging software, as well.

      Good luck!


  2. Posted August 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post
    was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  3. Florine Ritchie
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking
    for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make such a excellent informative

  4. Posted July 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness on your post is just
    nice and i can assume you’re a professional in this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to clutch your RSS feed to keep up to date with coming near near post. Thank you a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  5. Posted May 28, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am totally out of the loop to the point where I had never even heard of this. So, thank you ever so much for the warning. I am going to check my computer NOW!

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