Even as reports came in through the day of the probable effects (read Internet shutdown) of the FBI removing the safety net, it came to light that Internet access throughout the U.S. was normal yesterday. According to reports, the authorities snapped computer servers in NYC a little after midnight EDT which the FBI had installed to enable Internet access to the affected systems. Barry Greene, a security consultant volunteering with the DNS Changer Working Group, confirmed that it was “All quiet”.
Reportedly, the DCWG was looking at service calls to ISPs to give them an insight into the impact that the server shutdown had caused, and as of Monday afternoon New York time, they found no increase in the number of calls. Greene added, “The outreach campaign has reached everyone humanly possible.” According to reports, as of Sunday, the number of machines using clean servers was down to 211,000, with about 42,000 in the United States, according to the FBI.
Internet connections remain stable (Image credit: Getty Images)
According to Hypponen of F Secure, those who lost Internet service were “likely far fewer than the 211,000 who accessed the temporary server on Sunday“. Reportedly, service ISPs like AT&T Inc and Time Warner Cable had their own servers in the place, allowing users with infected systems to access Internet.
July 9 was feared to be the day when roughly half a million people would lose access to the Internet, as a result of the FBI shutting down temporary DNS servers affecting those hit by the dreaded DNSChanger virus. In November of 2011, the FBI had identified and located a ring of cyber criminals who managed to infect more that four million computers globally DNSChanger.
The virus managed to break into both personal and corporate PCs and redirected the computers to a host of DNS services, which led web searches to malicious websites. Starting from 2007, the criminals employed DNSChanger to infect roughly four million PCs in over 100 countries. In the U.S. alone, there were about 500,000 such infections. These also included systems belonging to individuals, businesses, and government agencies such as NASA. Reportedly, the cyber criminals managed to 'manipulate' Internet advertising, and as a result, generated approximately $14 million in 'illicit fees'. Referred to as 'clickjacking', they led a user with an infected system to believe that they are clicking on a website, but users instead were led to websites with fraud ads, enabling the rogues to get the click revenue stream.