Feeds

Facebook joins Google in warning DNSChanger victims

Warnings follow decision to withdraw safety net on 9 July

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.