Warning to you windows' users. You might have had your computer hacked. Due to the importance of this issue, here is the story en toto with directions at the bottom on how to check your computer and clean it. Info from the FBI:
WASHINGTON — For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.
Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.
The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner — http://www.dcwg.org — that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.
Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.
Last November, the FBI and other authorities were preparing to take down a hacker ring that had been running an Internet ad scam on a massive network of infected computers.
“We started to realize that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because … if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without Internet service,” said Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent. “The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get ‘page not found’ and think the Internet is broken.”
On the night of the arrests, the agency brought in Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, to install two Internet servers to take the place of the truckload of impounded rogue servers that infected computers were using. Federal officials planned to keep their servers online until March, giving everyone opportunity to clean their computers. But it wasn’t enough time. A federal judge in New York extended the deadline until July.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR COMPUTER:
Here’s how the FBI says you can check your computer:
Go to http://www.dcwg.org
Click on “Detect” in the upper left corner, or on the Green Button next to it.
You will be directed to a new page. Pick your language from the list and click on the link next to it.
If your computer is not infected, you will see a green logo with the message: “DNS Resolution=Green. Your computer appears to be looking up IP addresses correctly!”
If you see that message, you don’t need to do anything more.
If you see a message with a red logo saying your computer appears to be infected, you will be directed to a new page. You will be directed to websites that will provide antivirus tools that cybersecurity experts have identified as being effective in removing the malware.
The website also provides information on the case and the malware.