FBI helps navigate malware scare

Our goal at HV Shred is to help the community increase all avenues of security—including safe web browsing.  Here is the latest on a what the FBI is calling a malware scare:

Domain Name System (DNS) is an Internet service that converts user-friendly domain names, such as www.fbi.gov into numerical addresses that allow computers to talk to each other.  Without DNS and the DNS servers operated by Internet service providers, computer users would not be able to browse web sites, send e-mail, or connect to any Internet services.

Criminals have infected millions of computers around the world with malware called DNSChanger which allows them to control DNS servers.  As a result, the cyber thieves have forced unsuspecting users to fraudulent websites, interfered with their web browsing, and made their computers vulnerable to other kinds of malicious software.

To check if your computer is affected, go to http://www.dns-ok.us/ 

The page will tell you if it thinks your computer is looking up servers correctly. 

That’s not the end-all though. 

A few other steps that should be followed for computer safety regardless of threats.

1. Make sure your Windows Security Updates are up to date (if you have not installed windows updates in a while, it is recommended you do so.  If you’re not comfortable looking at the messages that come up on your computer, go to this web site: http://www.update.microsoft.com and check for updates.

2. Make sure all your plug-in programs are up to date.  This includes Flash, Java, Acrobat, etc.  If you have updates pending, you typically will see an icon on the start bar on the right side that will detail that you have updates from one of these programs.  You can also go on the web to check if you have the latest updates at www.adobe.com and www.java.com

3. As always, keep an eye out for suspicious pop-ups, ads, and other messages that appear out of place.  If you’re not sure about a window pop up, make sure you use the x at the top right of the window to close it.  That will keep programs from running anything malicious. 

Even if you were to be infected, after all of that, the problem is quickly solved by running a scan program that finds and removes it, but if your virus software is up to date, run a manual scan to ensure it’s clean. 

HV Shred is here to help—visit www.hvshred.com

by HV Shred