If your Internet connection has been spotty, slow or altogether malfunctioning, it may be the result of a virus the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been trying to clean up since November 2011. The FBI’s latest move in combating the virus may have left hundreds of thousands of Internet users without web access, CNNMoney reported.
After arresting six Estonian cybercriminals for infecting about 4 million computers with a malicious software called DNS Changer in November 2011, the FBI created temporary support servers to maintain Internet access for those infected by the virus.
Those temporary servers were shut down today after the FBI spent months collaborating with Internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable attempting to identify and notify infected computer owners. Still, the FBI estimates at nearly 250,000 computers worldwide including 42,000 in the United States may still have the virus.
The virus was spread when the cybercriminals redirected legitimate search engines searches to fake websites with fraudulent advertisements. The criminals were able to collect $14 million through those illegal ads, thereby also infecting users with malware that prevented them from updating anti-virus software.
Follow Elise Rambaud Marrion on Twitter @emarrion_cmn.