Facebook joins Google, ISPs in notifying DNSChanger victims

Facebook alerts owners of DNSChanger-infected computers that they need to take action before July 9

Facebook has started notifying victims of the DNSChanger malware who visit the social networking site that their computers will be cut off from the Internet on July 9, if they don't clean them until that time.

Facebook's DNSChanger alerts will include a link the DNSChanger Working Group's website, which contains more information about the malware and instructions on how to remove it.

"Earlier this year, Facebook joined the clean up effort by participating in [http://www.dcwg.org DNSChanger Working Group], which is comprised of computer security experts from the public, private, and academic sectors," the Facebook security team said in a blog post on Monday. "As a result of our work with the group, Facebook is now able to notify users likely infected with DNSChanger malware and direct them to instructions on how to clean their computer or networks."

DNSChanger is a family of Trojan programs that hijack Web search queries, display malicious advertisements and redirect users to fake websites. They do this by forcing infected computers to use DNS servers controlled by attackers.

DNS servers play a very important role on the Internet -- they translate domain names into numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that computers use to communicate with each other. By default, most computers use DNS servers operated by their respective Internet service providers (ISPs) -- entities that are implicitly trusted with routing their connections.

The FBI shut down the DNSChanger operation in November 2011 following a two-year investigation and temporary replaced the rogue DNS servers with legitimate ones. The replacement servers are operated by a non-profit organization called the Internet Systems Consortium, which also operates one of the Internet's thirteen authoritative DNS root servers.

A judge initially signed off on this arrangement until March 8 in order to give ISPs sufficient time to identify and notify victims. However, the deadline was later extended by four months.

The replacement servers are now scheduled to be taken offline on July 9, after which time computers still infected with the DNSChanger malware will no longer be able to access the Internet.

The DNSChanger Working Group estimates that there are over 350,000 devices still infected with DNSChanger, out of the 4 million that were originally affected by the malware.

Facebook's decision to notify the owners of the remaining infected computers follows a similar decision by Google, which started alerting DNSChanger victims through its search pages on May 22.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?