Computer expert Dave Hatter explains DNS Changer malware - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Computer expert Dave Hatter explains DNS Changer malware

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

DNS (Domain Name System) makes it possible to use simple names to access the Internet rather than complex IP addresses which are actually required for communication over the Internet. For example, when you visit the FOX19 web site, a DNS lookup occurs behind the scenes and the IP address 74.128.17.211 is returned.  The database of domain names is distributed over many servers on the Internet and each user has DNS servers specified by their Internet Service Provider (ISP).

DNS Changer is malware that changes the DNS Server settings on your computer and possibly on your router so that criminals can intercept the DNS lookup process to return bogus IP addresses, allowing them to control where you go.  For example, infected PCs can alter user searches and direct users to fake web sites that could sell bogus products, infect your computer with more malware, steal your money and/or steal your identity.

The criminals behind the malware were busted and the FBI working with the Internet Systems Consortium setup temporary surrogate DNS servers so that folks with infected systems would not lose Internet access. Those temporary servers will be taken down tomorrow, and if your PC or router is infected, you'll lose Internet access.  The links below will help you check your systems and correct them if you've been infected.

Helpful links:

Protect Yourself From DNSChanger

Malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday

DNSChanger Malware PDF from the FBI

DNS Changer Working Group

The Best Security Suites of 2012

Be sure to check out Dave Hatter Monday morning on the FOX19 Morning News!

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