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Internet users 'should check for blackout virus'

The Local · 12 Jan 2012, 07:56

Published: 12 Jan 2012 07:56 GMT+01:00

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The “DNS-Changer” program infects up to 33,000 computers in Germany each day, according to authorities who arrested those behind the scheme in November.

A “DNS-Changer” infection means a computer connects to a fake version of the Domain Name System – the service which enables access to websites, the Office for Information Technology Security (BSI) said on its website on Wednesday.

Rather than connecting to the normal DNS, an infected computer is instead re-routed to websites which criminals have manipulated and use for fraudulent activities such as the spreading of fake anti-virus software.

Those operating the fake DNS have also been sending manipulated advertising to infected computers, manipulated search results and sent further malware to them.

Although the FBI and European police authorities arrested many of those operating the fake DNS system in November, they left the system running while a real one was put in its place. But the fake one will be shut down on March 8, leaving those computers still connecting to it, in the dark.

A quick check can be carried out by logging onto the site www.dns-ok.de which has been set up by the government, Deutsche Telekom and the German federal police.

A simple green-coloured response from the site means your computer is free of the “DNS-Changer”. The BSI said the page would not start a program or download anything.

Story continues below…

A red response means your computer is infected, and the site will offer a number of suggestions of how to fix it.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:59 January 12, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Quite a few other news websites are also including the government link to check it the DNS changer has infected your computer in their reports. I might be helpful to others too Local...

11:04 January 12, 2012 by benjaminpeter5
This is unbelievable.But how is it possible?

Anyway i will try it....
13:05 January 12, 2012 by J-Dub
Hahaha....you Windows users have fun with this silly virus garbage! Windows viruses do not infect Linux boxes! One of the many advantages to using UNIX is that Windows viruses do not infect UNIX based systems.
18:20 January 12, 2012 by nemo999
My Dear J-Dub is correct that Windows virus infect Windows systems. But there are virus that are designed to infect Linux systems, and there are virus designed to infect MAC OSX.

No Single Operating System is safe or secure. No one should gloat about operating system X versus Y, they all have weakness. It is the price that is paid to be connected.

The only safe and secured system must be in sealed room, turned off, and disconnect from everything, and if you are still paranoid, take the CPU chip off the motherboard, granted it is not much use, but by all of the lords of the internet it is secure, plus it makes a great paper weight.
19:12 January 12, 2012 by J-Dub
nemo, only 863 UNIX viruses exist in this world. ALL OF THEM require ROOT privledges, meaning that you would have to type a password for the virus to actually infect a UNIX system. No Linux user is dumb enough to install software that is not digitally signed. All Linux software requires a GPG key, which are not easily obtained. The chance of infecting a Linux system is less than 0.1%. Windows users are constantly infected since it is the most used OS worldwide. MAC users are infected since they do not require password protection for ROOT access. Any Linux user knows that if as long as if they don't grant permission by inputting a password, nothing can infect a system. And even if it does, Linux firewalls make Windows firewall look like a pathetic JOKE. I use Windows, MAC, and Linux daily. It's part of my job. But I can tell you that in all of my years of IT, I have NEVER EVER witnessed an infected Linux box. EVER. Since there are only 863 viruses currently applied to the UNIX architecture and Linux firewalls cover all of these, even a new Linux virus would still require administrative passwords to be inputted into the computer to gain a gateway to the system. If you believe that there is no safe or secure OS, you obviously know little about Linux for that matter because after 15+ years of working with Linux I have never even needed antivirus protection and have NEVER had an infected computer. No one wants to spend the time to create a UNIX virus since it's too difficult to attack UNIX. Windows is a system built for the beginner, which is why it is so easy to attack. Since MS has a 93% market share of the OS market, one would assume that too is another reason why Windows is more often attacked.
20:05 January 12, 2012 by Oliver Jones


Most people who run Windows (myself included) run it for the sheer breadth and quality of software that is available on the platform. Open source fails to make the grade, even for running basic stuff like office and production software. That makes Windows isn't going anywhere.

(Lest you think I'm some clueless numpty, I'm an experienced UNIX system administrator with around 13 years of Linux experience, plus plenty of Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and BSD experience, plus networking and storage administration.)

UNIX is great for hosting servers (and even then, most of my clients have to reboot their Linux boxes every 45 days or so, because the Linux kernel doesn't cope very well with very high loads. Windows Server doesn't have this problem, nor do any of the commercial-grade UNIXes.) However, with the possible exception of OS X (which was based on BSD, and designed with desktop use in mind), most UNIX operating systems - and Linux - are utterly crap for running desktop software on.

At the end of the day, I administrate UNIX and Linux boxes by the dozen - but when it comes to doing my own stuff at home, I regard Linux as a time sink. I have a wife, a life and plenty of other things to do with my time - I'm no longer a teenage hacker with 18 hours of time per day available to spend tweaking my kernel or customising my desktop.
18:13 January 15, 2012 by J-Dub
Yawn over Windows. The most overrated and expensive aged junk ever created. Even Windows 7 is only Windows 95 with a prettier GUI. Linux has come further than you think. And in case you haven't heard, some software particularly made for Windows works better in Linux than in Windows. Ever heard of Wine? Some of the most popular Windows software works better emulated in Wine than it does on any particular version of Windows. Microsoft Office even works in Wine better than on Windows. Wine has given Linux users great strides in installing Windows software on Linux. Linux does not require teenage hacking. I'm over 35. It also should be known that kernel tweaks are not necessary anymore. If it would not be for Novell, who makes openSUSE, Windows Aero in Windows Vista and Windows 7 would have never existed. Microsoft has been stealing from open source for years and making profit from it, just like Apple. Windows and MAC OSXers are all the same, TOOLS being dragged through the mud by greedy companies that will sell you a name instead of quality. Understand that Microsoft and Apple are only thieves that steal from REAL computer software developers from open source. Why do you think there is a current anti-trust suit going on between Microsoft and Novell? Because Microsoft stole open source items and used it in Windows 7. Hence...Windows Aero...which is nothing but a mock of Compiz Fusion, with only half the actual function.
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