DNSChanger malware set to knock thousands off Internet on Monday

Here's how to find out if your computer is infected, and what to do if it is.

By Ian Paul, PC World |  Security, DNSChanger

If your computer is infected with DNSChanger and you've recently visited Facebook or Google, then you've probably seen warnings about your system being infected with DNSChanger. Both services are posting notices to systems infected with DNSChanger and offering advice about what to do about the infection. Your Internet Service Provider may have also notified you about an infection.

Another way to find out if you're infected is to visit one of several detection websites set-up by the DNSChanger Working Group. These sites will not require you to download any extra software or scan your hard drive. If you are infected, the site will be able to immediately detect it and notify you.

The bad news is that DNSChanger doesn't just go after PCs, but can also infect your router. That means you may visit a malware detection site from any PC in your home and all will register as being infected even though your router is really the culprit.

If you want to be absolutely sure your computer is clean, you can check your PC's DNS settings without relying on a third-party website. PCWorld's tutorial "Protect Yourself From DNSChanger" has detailed instructions on how to do this for PCs and Macs.

What to Do if You're Infected

If you've determined that your PC is running DNSChanger malware, there are several things you can do. The DNSChanger Working Group has a list of free removal tools from major computer security firms including Kaspersky, McAfee, MacScan, Symantec and Trend Micro, as well as a Microsoft tool.

Before you use any of these tools, you need to backup your personal files. The DNSChanger Working Group also suggests that infected users might be better off switching to a new PC if they were already thinking of upgrading their current system.

Another option, and perhaps the safest bet if you're sticking with your current PC, is to backup your files, reformat your hard drive and reinstall your OS. Check out PCWorld's guide to reinstalling Windows for more information.

If you determine that your router is infected, contact your Internet Service Provider for help.

DNSChanger may not be that widespread anymore (this year infections were detected at half of all Fortune 500 companies). But if you've got DNSChanger on your system, you have to deal with it this weekend before the Internet goes dark for you Monday.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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