DNSChanger virus spells ‘Internet Doomsday’ … The end is nigh, according to the FBI … ‘Internet doomsday’ will strike us all on July 9 …
That’s what a couple of popular websites had to say about the DNSChanger virus. What a crock!
I’ve been writing about viruses for about two decades, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen headlines that ridiculous from sources that should know better.
DNSChanger is a real piece of malware — it’s a variant of the TDSS/Alureon family of Trojans — and it was a real problem until taken down Nov. 8, 2011, in a joint FBI–Estonian police action code-named “Operation Ghost Click” (FBI site).
Since then, it seems, DNSChanger has hit headline after headline — with dire warnings. Even local TV news programs have covered it in breathless terms, as if it were the worst thing to ever infect your computer.
Lemme tell ya. It’s easy to write scary headlines such as “New Mac Trojan makes your clicking finger fall off!” (no doubt because Mac mice have only one button) or “Log on to Windows and lose your life savings!” It’s not so easy to examine the threat, digest it, translate it into terms we can all understand, and make a few simple recommendations.
That’s the goal for this column. Is it true that, as a Huffington Post U.K. headline put it, “The end is nigh, according to the FBI!”? I don’t think so.