The Internet May Disappear on You July 9, Find Out How to Avoid Losing the Web
Hundreds of thousands of people may wake up on July 9, 2012 to find the internet doesn't work on their computers. That is, unless these individuals take action to make sure their computers don't say farewell to the web forever. How do you know if you're one of the thousands? How do you prevent this from happening? Well, luckily we have the information.
In 2007, a piece of malware called DNSChanger hit the web and infected millions of computers around the world. Without getting into too complicated of terms; the DNSChanger bug does just what the name says, changing the DNS (Domain Name Server) your computer uses to access the web. What does this mean? Basically speaking, when you try to access any website, you would be redirected to a website or advertisement of the hacker's choosing, rather than the website you typed or clicked on.
The reason this malware was released was to direct users to fraudulent sites and ads to ultimately get you to give them money. The good news is that the FBI stepped in and shut down the online crime ring, and took over the "bad" DNS systems the cooks were using so they didn't redirect you to sites you don't want to be visiting.
Even though your computer may not be showing symptoms of being sick, there is still a chance you have the malware on your computer. If this is true, your access to the web may be going away on July 9. The reason? Running a DNS is very expensive, and the federal government has been keeping this one active so you can get online. In a decision to cut costs, the feds will be shutting down the DNS on July 9 - which means if your computer has the DNSChanger bug, you won't be able to access the internet after the flip the switch.
What can you do to stop this from happening? The FBI recommends visiting http://www.dcwg.org/ to see if you're infected. The site also offers fixes to get rid of the malware and make sure you can get online come July 9. My advice, get it taken care of by July 8, or your Monday morning on July 9 may not be a pleasant one.
Author's Note: After attempting to visit the website for myself, it seemed to be "broken", taking several tries to access the site. My guess is that the site is seeing high levels of traffic after news broke about this problem. I emailed the webmaster to see what's going on - stay tuned. My advice for now is to keep trying to access the site, it eventually loads after a few attempts.