Around July of last year, millions of internet users were being bombarded by security firms worldwide about a malware named DNSChanger. This particularly nasty piece of software changed the Domain Name Server(DNS) settings on your computer and/or router to either redirect your web browsing experience, or, in sever cases, block you from accessing the internet altogether. DNSChanger was a monkeywrech in the IT community, as already difficult troubleshooting sessions had users echoing “It was coming up with an error, but not anymore” because of sections of code in the malware that only redirected you occasionally.
A collective sigh of relief was felt when the FBI busted six Estonians allegedly at the heart of it all. Reports claimed that through this clever manipulation of internet access and advertising, suspects were able to generate approximately $14 million in fees. This past Friday, one of the two suspects extradited to the USA this far plead guilty. Reuters reported first that Valeri Aleksejev faces up to 25 years in prison and a forfeiture of $7 million.
The DNSChanger is one of the many reasons Secure The World was developed; to shed light on the types of real damages these malicious programs cause. Using automated security tools doesn’t guarantee that manipulated system settings are returned back to their working state, nor does it address physical damage done to system files as a result of infection. Sophos Labs made a great video explaining how the DNSChanger works, which is something you’ll want to absorb, as it allows you the proper persective regarding the state of cyber security as it applies to you individually.
As cybercrime climbs the media ladder as a legitimate and thriving threat, the consequences are becoming more and more severe. Even with our advanced state of technology, however, catching up to these criminals takes time. Don’t let them take advantage of you.