Malware threat curbed with help of Internet-service providers, report says

Internet generic, computer generic
Internet generic, computer generic

(CBS News) If you're reading this, you probably aren't a victim of the DNSChanger malicious software that may have cut off Internet for thousands of people.

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Thousands may lose Internet on July 9
CNET: How to detect and fix a machine infected with DNSChanger

According to the Wall Street Journal, the top Internet-service providers (ISP) have taken steps to prevent a potential catastrophe. An ISP is any company that provides Internet connection to consumers. Companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T have plans in place to help customers who have been infected with the malware. In most cases, customers will have to call a technician who will be able to assist in resolving the issue.

For months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has posted a warning that hundreds of thousands of people could lose their Internet on July 9. Early estimates put the number of people at risk of losing Internet at about 570,000. As of July 4, that number was about 45,600 in the U.S. and 250,000 worldwide.

The root of the problem can be traced back to 2007, when an international ring of hackers used an online advertising scam to take control of over 570,000 computers. The group installed malicious software on computers that turned off antivirus updates and changed how the machines read Internet domain names.

In November 2011, the crime ring was taken down in a sting called Operation Ghost Click. The FBI set up "clean" DNS servers to switched affected Internet customers temporarily - giving people time to check if their computers were infected and resolve pending issues. That program ended Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET.

If you have been infected by the virus, contact your Internet-service provider.