IP transit channel feature
Web Traffic Flows on Internet Doomsday
Last week you may have been more apprehensive than usual for Monday to arrive. Millions of computers were infected with the so-called "Internet Doomsday" virus used in a hacking scam, which redirected Internet searches through DNS servers used by scammers who allegedly netted $14 million in false advertising revenue. After U.S. and Estonian authorities busted the malware ring last November, a federal judge ordered that the FBI use temporary servers while the malware victims' PCs were repaired. The temporary servers shut down at 12:01 am EDT Monday, meaning anyone using a computer still infected with the virus was likely lose Internet access.
Infected machines would have been unable to access the Web unless they were repaired, so authorities put the backup system in place as a stopgap measure.
As of Sunday last week, the number of machines using the clean servers was down to 211,000, with about 42,000 in the United States, according to the FBI. The number of users who actually lost Internet service was likely far fewer than the 211,000 who accessed the temporary server on Sunday, said Hypponen, of F Secure, because many Internet service providers, including AT&T Inc and Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable, set up their own servers so their customers with infected machines could continue to access the Internet.
So what do we take from the doomsday experience? Cyber criminals are out there, but with a little cyber awareness and cyber hygiene, most viruses can be avoided or mitigated. It took only seconds to check a computer for the virus, and the antidote was almost as quick. Even the best cybersecurity software and the passing of strong cybersecurity legislation cannot replace individual responsibility on the Internet. Additionally, the U.S. should resist calls of “doomsday” every time some cyber threat emerges; otherwise, real cyber threats might go unnoticed.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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