12. January 2012–
The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has advised all internet users to perform a simple check to see if their internet devices have been infected by a virus exposed after a series of arrests were made in November.
The DNS-Changer directs affected devices to a fake version of the domain name system (DNS), which is responsible for translating website addresses (URLs) into IP addresses.
DNS-Changer drives fraudulent activity
The fake DNS is used for fraudulent activities including fake search engine results and advertisements as well as unlicenced drug sales.
German federal investigators, together with the FBI, left the fake DNS system running so affected users could be advised of the risk and take action to remove the virus from their system but the fake DNS will be shut down on March 8 and any affected computers will be locked out of the web.
The FBI estimates up to 33,000 devices a day are being infected with DNS-Changer.
DNS-Changer cure at dns-ok.de
The BSI, FBI and Telekom have set up the diagnostic website dns-ok.de and are advising internet users to visit the site. At the top of the page a green message indicates the computer concerned is unaffected.
A red message indicates a DNS-Changer infection and suggests a number of rememdies to cleanse the device.
Image credit: Flickr user Marcelo Alves