Feeds

Feds shift DNSChanger cut-off deadline to July

Extra month granted to clean up infected gear

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.