Feeds

Facebook joins Google in warning DNSChanger victims

Warnings follow decision to withdraw safety net on 9 July

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Federal authorities will not seek a further extension to a DNSChanger safety net, meaning an estimated 360,00 security laggards will be unable to use the internet normally unless they clean up their systems before a 9 July deadline.

DNSChanger changed the domain name system (DNS) settings of compromised machines to point 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 racket. The FBI dismantled the botnet's command-and-control infrastructure back in November, as part of Operation GhostClick.

In place of the rogue servers, a bank of duplicate machines was set up to resolve internet look-up queries from compromised boxes. This system was established under a court order, which has already been extended twice. The move meant users of compromised machines could use the internet normally – but the safety net by itself did nothing to change the fact that infected machines needed to be cleaned.

At its peak as many four million computers were infected by DNSChanger. An estimated 360,000 machines are still infected and there's no sign that further extending the safety net will do any good, hence a decision to try other tactics while withdrawing the DNS safety net, which has served its purpose of granting businesses with infected machines time to clean up their act.

Last week Facebook joined Google and ISPs in notifying DNSChanger victims‎ that they were surfing the net using a compromised machine.

"The warnings are delivered using a 'DNS Firewall' technology called RPZ (for Response Policy Zones)," Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, told El Reg. "This allows infected users (who are using the 'replacement' DNS servers) to hear different responses than uninfected users (who are using 'real' DNS servers). We can control how an infected user reaches certain websites by inserting rules into the RPZ," he added.

More information – along with clean-up advice – can be found on the DNS Changer Working Group website here. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.