Monthly Archives: February 2012

March 8th, AKA the End of the Internet

I always wanted to write a headline newspaper style. Seriously though, I’ve seen some news agencies and other doomsday style people write headings like this for this subject. Several people have asked me about this, so here are the facts:

1. There was an FBI operation called Operation Ghost Click that, back in November, took control of certain servers that were being used by a gang of cyber-criminals as Control and Command servers. This means malware was created that made the infected computers look for these servers when looking for the address of certain websites, and re-directing them to malicious ones. If your computer was infected, it was subject to this re-direction problem.

2. Those malicious servers, now in control of the FBI, have been kept running these last 3 months to avoid the infected computers, or computers affected by the infection, from being unable to access websites. But the servers are scheduled to be shut down on March 8.

3. if your computer is infected with the malicious software that makes it a slave of those servers, or if the settings changed by the malicious software are not corrected, the affected computers will lose internet connectivity when those servers are shut down.

That’s the basic story.

What to Do

Any good antivirus scan should detect the presence of the malicious software, called DNSChanger and labeled a Trojan (DNS: Domain Name System. See this article from last year if you’re interested in knowing what that is).

Even if the Trojan is removed, certain settings in your computer might still be crooked. Avira offers a repair tool for it. Click on this link to download it: Avira DNS Repair-Tool. Download it and run it to correct changed settings or simply to verify that your computer’s DNS settings have not been messed with.

If you need help with this, contact a computer professional.

Recent Important Updates

This past Tuesday, as it’s done every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft released its monthly updates, 9 of them. You can go to to download and install the latest updates, if your computer is not set to download and install updates automatically.

Adobe just released a patch for the latest known zero-day exploit:

Google Chrome version 17.0.963.56 was just released. Clicking on the wrench icon on the upper right of a browser window and selecting “About Google Chrome” will confirm you have the latest version or download and install it.

The Mozilla corporation released Firefox 10.0.1 to fix a security vulnerability:

It is always recommended to keep computers up to date in their software patches, to avoid security risks that might end up in infected computers.