Feeds

ISPs step in to supply DNSChanger safety net

Not going dark, after all

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The DNSChanger Working Group's replacement DNS servers were taken offline as scheduled on Monday, 9 July.

However, rather than leaving an estimated 300,000 machines without internet services it seems that many ISP have configured their own substitute DNS servers, so that at least some pox-ridden machines still have a safety net.

What this means is that "infection count continues to decrease without a major crisis in support calls," according to a blog post by net security firm F-Secure. The Finnish security firm fielded three DNSChanger support queries of its own on Monday.

DNSChanger screwed the domain name system (DNS) settings of infected machines, redirecting surfers to dodgy websites as part of a long-running cybercrime. The FBI dismantled the botnet's command-and-control infrastructure back in November, as part of Operation GhostClick.

The takedown would have left compromised Windows machines without the ability to reach services that resolved domain names into IP addresses, leaving them effectively cut off from the net. A court order, twice extended, allowed the Feds to set up replacement DNS Servers. This provision was allowed to die off on Monday, but even after months in which to act – and more latterly warnings from Google and Facebook – a minority of machines remained infected.

More than four million Windows PCs were infected by DNSChanger. This figure has dropped to below 270,000 or lower over the weekend (estimates vary).

Sean Sullivan, security advisor at F-Secure said: "According to the latest IP count, the number of affected users in the UK has dropped to just 13,832, down from 19,589 on June 11. Clearly, the publicity surrounding the deadline has helped to raise awareness and the message is getting through that users need to clean up their computers.

"What we have seen is that some large Internet Service Providers have set up their own substitute DNS servers so their customers can stay online," Sullivan said. "So, despite the FBI being out of the game, that doesn’t necessarily mean that customers will be cut-off. It won't solve the problem completely though, and these users will find that they can't access the internet on their laptops from a Wi-Fi hotspot or friend's house."

Clean-up instructions and more background on the history of the malware and the operation that dismantled the huge cybercrime operation that exploited it can be found on the DNSChanger Working Group website here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.