In recent news, an IT security problem dubbed ‘Malware Monday’ was a major concern for small and medium-sized businesses everywhere as the FBI shut down DNSChanger servers. This caused a major problem for those who attempted to access the internet using a computer that was infected with the malware.
DNS Changer consists of a malware program that causes users to be redirected away from the websites they were trying to access.
Users are routed instead to alternate sites so that the fraudsters who have established the scheme can benefit from millions of dollars in pay-per-view advertising. Cyber criminals believed to be implicated in the plot were spread across the world in places as diverse as Estonia, Great Britain, and the United States.
At its worst, Malware Monday was supposed to affect more than 4 million computers around the world. However, it appears that fewer than 200,000 users of the internet were impacted, and were not redirected to alternate sites. Instead, they were unable to access the internet at all.
The computers that remain affected are those who are still infected with the DNS Changer malware, but since reports of the malware first broke months ago, most SMBs have taken steps to have their systems cleaned as needed. The FBI took precautions as well, taking fraudsters' servers offline, replacing them with clean machines that would not attempt redirection. These have been in place for some time, but will be taken offline soon, at which point malware-infected machines are effectively cut off from the internet.
The solution in this case is relatively straightforward. SMBs should contact their internet service providers to ask for assistance removing the malware blocking access. Those businesses that make use of outsourced IT may wish to discuss the issue with technicians or consultants at their MSP. Business managers and owners who still find themselves without internet access as a result of the event can reach their MSPs by voice telephone instead in order to request assistance.
Largely responsible for the successful defeat of DNS Changer is DCWG: the DNS Changer Working Group. DCWG is a collaborative effort involving both business and government leaders committed to improving IT security outcomes. For more detailed IT security solutions, specifically suited to your business, contact iCorps and ask to speak to an IT consultant about your goals, timelines, and concerns.