The internet is broken, or is it

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  • 1. The Internet is Broken, or is it?Submitted by Derek on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 17:00Theres been a lot of hullaballoo over the DNS Changer issue, and the possibility that anyone couldsuddenly lose internet connectivity this coming Monday, July 9th, 2012.This sounds pretty familiar to those of us who were computer savvy 13 years ago when the worldwas running scared from the inevitable Y2K crisis. According to that prediction, at 12:00 AM onJanuary 1st, 2000, all computers would stop working because their internal clocks supposedlycould not understand the concept of a year 2000.So what happened?Nothing. Literally nothing. Not a single computer malfunctioned.Will it be the same on July 9th?No. Although it seems similarly ominous at first glance, this situation is quite different from the Y2Kcrisis. Heres why:Its not supposed to affect everybody only an estimated 350,000 computers worldwide will beaffected. Compare that to the actual number of computers online (2 billion!), and the number reallyisnt that big.

2. Its not due to a glitch in fact, the organization that will be responsible for the disconnections isnone other than the FBI.But why?It all has to do with a type of virus called the DNS Changer, which has been around since 2007.DNS, or Domain Name System, translates website addresses into IP addresses, which in turnpoint to the physical location where a website is stored. Computers infected with the DNS Changervirus are pointed to the wrong addresses where fraudsters have set up websites designed to trickthe users into giving away their personal information.In 2009, the FBI tracked the virus to a crime ring and arrested the people responsible. Since theywere unable to remove the virus from infected computers, they left the DNS Changer live butaltered it to redirect users back to the correct website. Three years later, the FBI will finally beshutting down the DNS Changer, and any infected computers will no longer be able to access theinternet.What should I do?First of all, if this is the first that youve heard about it, your computer probably is not infected.Since the FBI effectively owns the DNS Changer, it knows who has been infected and hasattempted to inform everyone infected how to remove the virus. If you want to be extra careful, visitthe following link, maintained by the FBI, to find out if you have the virus:https://forms.fbi.gov/check-to-see-if-your-computer-is-using-rogue-DNS. Ihe virus can be removedusing any simple anti-virus softwareSecond of all, this situation should remind us all just how important it is to be cautious online. Dontvisit websites you dont trust and dont download or install anything that you dont need. For moreonline security tips, read Safe Online Shopping or visit the Payza Security Center.Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.netE-commerceDNS Changer The Internet is Broken, or is it? 2