The FBI has warned that thousands of web users worldwide could lose Internet access after a hacker’s adverting scam infected computers.
The problem started after international hackers ran an online advertising scam to get control of infected computers around the world.
In response, the FBI had set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. However, that system is to be shutdown.
It is estimated that hackers have targeted a network of about 570,000 computers.
They took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system to install malicious software in the victims computers. This turned off antivirus updates and most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the software has probably slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software.
The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users will not be able to connect to the Internet due to DNS failures.
The FBI believes that on the day of the arrests, at least 568,000 unique Internet addresses were using the servers. 85,000 of which are US based.
Other countries have victims with more than 20,000 each, including Italy, India, England and Germany.
According to the FBI, the hackers have earned at least 14 million dollars in the scam. (ANI)