Risk
4/24/2012
01:38 PM
50%
50%

DNS Changer: FBI Updates Net Access Shutoff Plans

The FBI called: Your malware-infected PC or router needs to get clean, or lose Internet access.

In a little more than two months, the FBI plans to pull the plug on DNS servers that are currently providing PCs infected with the DNS Changer malware with the ability to translate domain names into IP addresses.

Accordingly, the FBI has launched a public appeal, urging consumers and businesses to scan their machines--including some routers--for signs of infection.

How prevalent is DNS Changer? Rod Rasmussen, a member of the DNS Changer Working Group, said that in early February 2012, the malware was infecting machines used by half of all Fortune 500 companies as well as 27 out of 55 government agencies. But by the end of that month, he said that infection rates appeared to have dropped to 94 companies and just three agencies.

[ Proactivity is key in defending against cyber threats. Read more at Anonymous Vs. DNS System: Lessons For Enterprise IT. ]

In November 2011, the bureau, working with Estonian authorities, helped bust the Estonian gang behind the DNS Changer botnet. Authorities accused the gang of conducting a four-year campaign that generated at least $14 million, largely through click fraud.

The criminals allegedly used the malware to reroute infected machines to their own rogue DNS servers. That meant that even after the FBI helped bust the suspected botnet operators, anyone whose machine was infected with the malware would still be relying on the rogue DNS servers to be able to surf the Internet.

Accordingly, the bureau said that it would continue to support the DNS servers for another four months, although it disabled the command-and-control infrastructure underlying the botnet and said it wasn't monitoring any of the traffic traveling over the DNS servers. In addition, the FBI said that it had "provided information to ISPs that can be used to redirect their users from the rogue DNS servers to the ISPs' own legitimate servers."

With that deadline fast approaching, however, and many machines apparently still infected with DNS Changer, on March 12 the FBI secured a court order "authorizing the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to deploy and maintain temporary clean DNS servers," according to a statement released by the FBI.

Because this solution costs money, it's temporary and is intended only to buy "additional time for victims to clean affected computers and restore their normal DNS settings," according to the FBI. "The clean DNS servers will be turned off on July 9, 2012, and computers still impacted by DNSChanger may lose Internet connectivity at that time."

In other words, anyone whose machine is infected with the malware has about two months left to eradicate it or lose Internet access. At that point, to eliminate the malware and restore their correct DNS settings, users will need to download antivirus software--using another PC--and install it on their PC; for example, by using a USB key.

Hacktivist and cybercriminal threats concern IT teams most, our first Federal Government Cybersecurity Survey reveals. Here's how they're fighting back. Also in the new, all-digital Top Federal IT Threats issue of InformqtionWeek Government: Why federal efforts to cut IT costs don't go far enough, and how the State Department is enhancing security. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
UberGoober
50%
50%
UberGoober,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/24/2012 | 7:33:34 PM
re: DNS Changer: FBI Updates Net Access Shutoff Plans
Seems like for the last week or so they could redirect all traffic to a page describing the problem and include non-blocked links to AV vendors' sites.

Or they could just wait and let the great unwashed masses fail with no warning. Do they really thing waiting another couple of months will give Aunt Bertha a better chance to get her PC's DNS servers re-pointed? Gubmint folks are so clueless....
pccareman
50%
50%
pccareman,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/24/2012 | 10:59:58 PM
re: DNS Changer: FBI Updates Net Access Shutoff Plans
as i broadcast computer help on blogtv .
i will pass the word about this d n s changer .
i have found at a lot of computer user,s dont even have a anti virus program.
but i keep telling them yu need it.
i use linux mac windows ect from 95.
i hope the isp s waken up soon.
Bprince
50%
50%
Bprince,
User Rank: Ninja
4/25/2012 | 2:05:42 AM
re: DNS Changer: FBI Updates Net Access Shutoff Plans
Here is the link to the DNS Changer Working Group: http://www.dcwg.org/
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading Comment Moderator
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Latest Comment: nice post
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-1750
Published: 2015-07-01
Open redirect vulnerability in nokia-mapsplaces.php in the Nokia Maps & Places plugin 1.6.6 for WordPress allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the href parameter to page/place.html. NOTE: this was originally reported as cross-sit...

CVE-2014-1836
Published: 2015-07-01
Absolute path traversal vulnerability in htdocs/libraries/image-editor/image-edit.php in ImpressCMS before 1.3.6 allows remote attackers to delete arbitrary files via a full pathname in the image_path parameter in a cancel action.

CVE-2015-0848
Published: 2015-07-01
Heap-based buffer overflow in libwmf 0.2.8.4 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted BMP image.

CVE-2015-1330
Published: 2015-07-01
unattended-upgrades before 0.86.1 does not properly authenticate packages when the (1) force-confold or (2) force-confnew dpkg options are enabled in the DPkg::Options::* apt configuration, which allows remote man-in-the-middle attackers to upload and execute arbitrary packages via unspecified vecto...

CVE-2015-1950
Published: 2015-07-01
IBM PowerVC Standard Edition 1.2.2.1 through 1.2.2.2 does not require authentication for access to the Python interpreter with nova credentials, which allows KVM guest OS users to discover certain PowerVC credentials and bypass intended access restrictions via unspecified Python code.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marc Spitler, co-author of the Verizon DBIR will share some of the lesser-known but most intriguing tidbits from the massive report