When your computer wants to visit any website, it looks up the numeric address for the site in a centralized directory on a Doman Name Server (DNS). Last fall, the FBI shut down a ring of hackers who were using malware, named DNS Changer, to route infected computers to rouge DNS servers that redirected users to malicious websites.
The problem was that if these rouge servers were shut down, people infected with DNS Changer would no longer be able to access sites on the web. It was decided that instead of leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded without Internet access, clean servers would be put in place of the rogue servers to provide Internet access to infected computers. This was always meant to be a temporary measure, giving people time to remove the DNS Changer malware.
On July 9, the clean servers will be shut down. So if your computer is still infected with DNS Changer on July 9, you won’t have access to the Internet.
How can you tell if you’re infected? The DNS Changer Working Group provides links that let you check to see if you’re infected. If you are infected, novice computer users should seek the help of a professional computer service. If you’re more tech-savvy, you can use one of the removal tools.