Will you lose access to the Internet today?

Let’s hope not, because that could put a serious crimp in your enjoyment of bradwarthen.com. Which would be awful.

Fortunately, The Washington Post has provided a handy guide to the threatening virus, and what to do about it if it you have it.

You should probably go check now, since it’s harder to cure after it strikes than before:

To see if you have the virus, you can head to any number of checker Web sites such as the DNS Changer Working Group or theFBI itself to either enter your IP address or simply click a button to run a check against addresses known to have problems. With any luck, you’ll be free and clear and won’t have to worry about the problem any further.

If you are infected with the virus, then you’ve got a longer — but not impossible — process ahead of you. According to the DCWG, those infected with the virus should first back up any important files. You can do that fairly easily with an external hard drive or even a thumb drive.

From there, you can run one of several trusted tools to get rid of the virus. Again, the DCWG has a list of them on its site, which includes programs such as Microsoft Windows Defender Off line, Norton Power Eraser and MacScan, all of which have updated their definitions to include this particular virus.

Here’s hoping you, and I, enjoy a virtual disease-free Monday.

15 thoughts on “Will you lose access to the Internet today?

  1. Brad

    They couldn’t. This is about BEFORE that happens.

    I tried using those checkers, and both told me I was OK. But I found it confusing, as I often do with things that try to make everything easy.

    There are questions I’d like to have answered, such as: Do I need to check for each IP address I use? (I mean seriously, in this mobile world, how many people use just ONE?) I assumed the answer was “yes,” and tried doing that. I think I did it correctly, and was given a clean bill of health on each…

  2. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    Prof. Fenner will be interviewed for the local ABC News station on this very subject.

    You just check each machine. Includes Windows and Macs and iPads….If there’s a problem, at this point, you need to contact your internet service provider.

    and you may be able to read this at work, but not when you get home, so….

  3. Silence

    Anyone who loses internet today is obviouly not running any sort of up-to-date virus protection and therefore shouldn’t be online anyway.

  4. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    The servers went down about half an hour ago, so if you can read this, the computer you are on is okay.

  5. Stephen Fenner

    Check that … it was 12:01 am this morning that the service was stopped, not 12:01 pm. My mistake.

  6. Stephen Fenner

    @Steven – The FBI set up two “clean” DNS servers last November to handle DNS requests from infected computers. This allowed users of infected computers to keep their internet access while they work to disinfect. It was those servers that stopped working today.

  7. Brad

    Thanks, Stephen.

    If I have a complaint, it’s that the FBI didn’t do a very good job of giving people advance warning. I’m someone who does a pretty fair job of paying attention, and I didn’t notice anything about this until a couple of weeks back…

  8. Silence

    @ Brad – I agree, there hasn’t been much about this in the mainstream news until last week. I am not concerned though, if the AOL, NetZero dialup users and other ignorant n00bs get booted from teh internets, it is just fine with me.

  9. Steve Fenner

    Thanks, Brad. I suspect that the FBI (and others — Google and Facebook?) had a good way of actually finding the people who were infected (perhaps by inspecting traffic on their DNS servers) and warning them directly. Had *they* known you were infected, you probably would have been warned one way or another. That said, yes, better publicity could have put more people’s minds at ease earlier.

  10. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    Dunno–I heard about it a couple of weeks ago–was covered on CNN, which I only watch when I’m at the gym and there’s commercials on the station I’m really watching. Then it got picked up big time a few days ago.

    If you knew who Anderson Cooper is, you might also know this.

    Professor Fenner says one issue with the malware was that it prevented infected users from updating their anti-virus and other software….so maybe it wasn’t the fault of the affected users….

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