Well, the DNS Changer threat has come and gone without leaving a significant techno-disaster in its wake. At one time characterized as a potential “Internet Doomsday,” the threat has since petered out.
In case you haven’t been following the story, DNS Changer is a form of virus that first made the Internet rounds back in 2009. After a widespread investigation by the FBI, the scammy eastern European operation was shut down last year.
However, when the FBI came across the servers used to spread the virus, it decided not to shut them down. Why? Because any computer infected with the virus could lose its Internet connection as soon as that occurred.
As a result, the FBI kept those servers alive for a year while spreading word of DNS Changer. It also set a kill date for the servers: 12:01am EDT, July 9, 2012.
Most of you probably never even knew the significance of that date and time. Indeed, when the moment passed this morning, the FBI estimated that less than 42,000 computers were still infected, worldwide.
That, however, is a staggeringly low statistic given how widespread the issue was just a few months ago. Back in February, the FBI indicated that as many as 350,000 computers around the world might be infected with the virus. Just as concerning: it was estimated that half of all Fortune 500 companies were using computers infected with DNS Changer.
Most security software programs were capable of detecting and removing the virus. However, since millions of people fail to install such software, it was believed DNS Changer’s impact would be enormous.
But after initiating an aggressive campaign that raised awareness of DNS Changer’s existence, by last week only 70,000 computers were reportedly infected. Although it’s possible thousands lost their Internet connections this morning, the FBI believes we all dodged a bullet.
“We’re not aware of any issues,” an FBI spokesperson said.