The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is on the final stage of its Operation Ghost Click, which strikes against the menace of the DNSChanger virus and trojan. Infected PCs running the DNSChanger malware at unawares are in the danger of going offline on this coming Monday (July 9) when the FBI plans to pull down the online servers that communicate with the virus on host computers.
After gaining access to a host PC, the DNSChanger virus tries to modify the DNS (Domain Name Server) settings, which are essential for Internet access, to send traffic to malicious servers. These poisoned web addresses in turn point traffic generated through infected PCs to fake or unsafe websites, most of them running online scams. There are also reports that the DNSChanger virus also acts as a trojan, allowing perpetrators of the hack attack to gain access to infected PCs.
Google issued a general advisory for netizens in May earlier this year to detect and remove DNSChanger from infected PCs. According to our report, some 5 lakh PCs were still infected by the DNSChanger virus in May 2012.
The first report of the DNSChanger virus and its affiliation with an international group of hackers first came to light towards the end of last year, and the FBI has been chasing them down ever since. The group behind the DNSChanger virus is estimated to have infected close to 4 million PCs around the world in 2011, until the FBI shut them down in November.
In the last stage of Operation Ghost Click, the FBI plans to pull the plug and bring down the temporary rogue DNS servers on Monday, July 9, according to an official announcement. As a result, PCs still infected by the DNSChanger virus will be unable to access the Internet.
How do you know if your PC has the DNSChanger virus? Don’t worry. Google has explained the hack attack and tools to remove the malware on its official blog. Trend Micro also has extensive step-by-step instructions to check if your Windows PC or Mac is infected by the virus.