Feeds

Feds shift DNSChanger cut-off deadline to July

Extra month granted to clean up infected gear

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The FBI's DNSChanger deadline extension has been approved by a US Federal Court, buying infected punters more time to clean up their systems.

The move means that machines riddled with the Trojan will still be able to use temporary DNS servers to resolve internet addresses until 9 July. Before the order was granted, infected machines would not have been able to surf the web or handle email properly after 8 March, the previous expiry date of the safety net.

Deployed initially by cyber-crooks, DNSChanger screwed with domain name system (DNS) settings to direct surfers to rogue servers - which hijacked web searches and redirected victims to dodgy websites as part of a long-running click-fraud and scareware distribution scam.

The FBI stepped in and dismantled the botnet's command-and-control infrastructure back in November, as part of Operation GhostClick.

To keep nobbled computers working properly, legitimate servers were set up by the Feds to replace the rogue DNS servers, under the authority of a temporary court order that has now been extended. But this effort did nothing by itself to clean up infected machines.

As many as four million computers were infected at the peak of the botnet's activity.

An updated study by security firm Internet Identity revealed that there has been a "dramatic decrease" in the number of Fortune 500 companies and US federal agencies with DNSChanger on their networks.

IID found at least 94 of all Fortune 500 companies and three out of 55 major government entities had at least one computer or router that was infected with DNSChanger as of 23 February, 2012. This is a sharp drop from the 250 out of 500 Fortune 500 companies found to be infected a few weeks prior to its latest survey – providing evidence that the clean-up operation has finally clicked into gear.

More information on how to clean up infected machines, and other resources, can be found on the DNS Changer Working Group website here. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.