It has been announced that the internet will be ‘turned off’ by the FBI on 9th July this year for thousands of users across the world in a bid to eliminate the Trojan computer virus known as ‘DNSChanger.’
It is estimated that around 350,000 PC users are currently infected with this Trojan, which sends infected computers to unintended and often illegal websites. When the virus was first detected, the FBI set up surrogate servers to allow people to continue to access the internet but the cost of running these servers has become too expensive for the FBI to justify keeping them running and they plan to shut them off on July 9th. The FBI had given people moved to these temporary servers 120 days to remove the virus from their system and it is believed that after FBI warnings the number of infected computers has dropped significantly.
Of the 350,000 infected computers, 20,000 are believed to be in the UK while 85,000 infected machines remain in the US.
The Trojan, which originally emerged in Estonia, sends users to fraudulent websites but also stops them from being able to access legitimate sites that could help to remove the virus from the computer.
Speaking about the move, FBI Agent Tom Grasso told Fox News “If we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure, the victims were going to be without internet service.” A group entitled DNS Working Group is currently examining ways of fixing the problem, which, if not rectified, could see millions of people left without internet access.