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Better Business Bureau urges consumers to run diagnostic test on computer

July 04, 2012

With hundreds of thousands of Internet users in danger of losing their online access Monday, the Better Business Bureau is urging all consumers to run a diagnostic test to see if their computers are infected.

The FBI’s DNS Changer Working Group can detect the malware and explain how to fix infected machines.

“A few minutes of your time today could save you the headache of losing your computer’s Internet access at home or work come Monday,” Angie Barnett, president and chief executive officer of Better Business Bureau Greater Maryland, said in a news release.

“If your hardware is clean, you’re done. If it’s infected, the FBI’s recommended steps should prevent an interruption in service.”

In November, the FBI took down the servers of international hackers operating out of Estonia. The hackers successfully downloaded malware on to more than half-million computers, turning off virus updates and redirecting consumers to fraudulent websites.

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If the servers had simply been shut down, the victims’ computers no longer would be able to access the internet.

Instead, the FBI set up clean servers to replace the ones that were running the scam, and victims have been redirected to those clean servers, usually without any knowledge they were infected.

The rescue servers were to be active until March, but a court ruling extended the program until Monday, when the clean servers will be turned off and anyone who is still infected with the malware will lose Internet access.

The FBI believes there are about 360,000 infected computers in a dozen countries, including the United States and Canada.

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