FBI won’t cut off your Internet for another 4 months

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
By Paul Martin

Judge grants extension to keep infected servers running until machines cleaned up

By Paul Wagenseil

All those computer users whose Internet access was about to be cut off by the FBI can breathe a bit easier.

Late yesterday (March 5), federal Judge Denise Cote granted the federal government another 120 days to keep running several Domain Name System servers that were keeping hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions, of infected computers online.

The servers had been due to be shut off this coming Thursday, March 8, after the previous 120-day mandate given in the original protective order had run out. The new deadline is July 9.
On Nov. 8 of last year, Estonian authorities busted a low-key cybercrime ring who’d used a variety of malware, collectively called “DNSChanger,” to infect approximately 4 million PCs, Macs and network routers worldwide and redirect those machines’ Web traffic to bogus websites controlled by the gang.

As far as online crime goes, the Estonians were strictly white-collar. They made a small amount of money each time one of the unsuspecting users clicked an ad on one of their sites. Still, the gang made about $14 million in nearly five years.

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