Feeds

Feds shift DNSChanger cut-off deadline to July

Extra month granted to clean up infected gear

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.