I’m hoping you’ve already seen the stories about the FBI’s takedown of the hackers behind “Operation Ghost Click.”  These hackers used an ad scam that spread malware allowing them to infect and control computers.  It was very sophisticated and most owners wouldn’t recognize that their computers had been taken over by the hackers. You can read more about the hacking in articles by Elizabeth Hewitt and Will Oremus at the Slate (http://slatest.slate.com).

Here’s the urgency: after catching these hackers, the FBI had to work on shutting down the hackers’ data centers.  The FBI didn’t want people to lose Internet service while this was going on so they retained a company to set up temporary Internet services.  But those temporary Internet services end at 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 9th.

This is how you check:

  1. Go to http://www.dcwg.org.  This is the website of the company retained by the FBI to provide the temporary Internet services.
  2. The website has a link so you can go in and check if your computer has the malware.
  3. If your computer does have the malware, the website gives you all the steps to clear it out.

I’ve gone to the DCWG website and it is very easy to check.   You will get a message and screen shot that reads”DNS Changer Check-up”. The message will have either a green or red background.  The green background means your computer is clean while the red background means your computer is infected. The DCWG website has excellent instructions in case you have to remove the malware; Mr. Oremus’ Slate article is also a helpful “how to do” resource.

Do this today!  Then you can either be relieved or take the needed steps to make sure you don’t lose your Internet access come 12:02 a.m. on July 9th.