July 8th, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Monday's Internet blackout: Justifiable hysterics or just hype?

An Internet blackout that will happen Monday has the webisphere scrambling.

Hundreds of thousands will be without Internet when the FBI shuts down selected servers supporting computers infected with the notorious virus, DNSChanger.

But are Internet hysterics warranted - or just hype?

The FBI is set to shut down servers that it initially created to support infected computers after the authors of the pesky malware were caught in November. Some reports put the number of U.S. Internet users who will go dark at less than 70,000 - a relatively small number of U.S. users.

Not sure if you're among the unlucky? The agency has offered a step-by-step plan on how to check to see if your computer has the virus.

The virus affected more than 4 million computers internationally. When infected users typed a domain name into their browser, DNSChanger rerouted them to fake ad sites, ultimately garnering millions of dollars for the six Estonian malware authors.  The FBI opted to set up servers that would allow infected users to stay on the Web without the fake ads.

Even though the number of those who will be without the Internet might not be worthy of all the hype, the World Wide Web  is a staple for getting through everyday life. And, whether reports are overblown will probably mean little to those who are going without on Monday. We want to know what the Internet means to you, so log in and tell uswhile you still can.

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Filed under: Technology • U.S.
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Babaylon5

    You people NEED to WAKE UP. If you have a problem, DEAL WITH IT. Otherwise keep your mouth Shut.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. riamb60

    Something is not kosher !!!

    July 9, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. david motari

    "An Internet blackout that will happen Monday has the webisphere scrambling."

    webisphere..?

    webisphere..?

    Really..?

    July 9, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Forrest

      The term blogosphere was coined long ago, webisphere is a logical extension.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. liz

    I checked my computer all the while thinking this is BS. Have any servers reported their users have had their computers go down ? Seems we may have been played by the FBI.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Babyboomer

      No one is being "played". You apparently are unable to comprehend the issue. I suspect you have plenty of company, unfortunately.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. mecatfish

    What time will it happen?

    July 9, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ralph Henson

    Had to be a scam. Went at least six months without a word and then 2-3 days before it was supposed to happen, mass notification. Willing to bet that everyone that used the sites advertised are now tracked and "placed in a database" for research, or something else. Most likely something else.
    Another way to have us"beholden" to the government.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Babyboomer

      You obviously have not been paying attention. This has been news for MONTHS. Do you people live under a rock??

      July 9, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan I

      As I posted below, stories about this changeover appeared MONTHS ago and if you had been paying attention to tech news you would have known about DNSChanger a LONG time ago. It was fairly big news in the tech world at the time. But you sound like one of those people who probably ignore tech news as "useless" or "geeky."

      July 9, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      @Babyboomer
      You obviously have not been paying attention.
      Went at least six months without a word and then 2-3 days before it was supposed to happen
      stories about this changeover appeared MONTHS ago.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Hellinahandbasket

      EXACTLY!!! So you setup a virtual machine and tunnel out from it... delete and then setup another virtual machine. It's not that difficult to learn how to do that, just 'youtube' how to setup a virtual computer.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. TeachAman

    It would have been easier for the FBI to just route everything coming to their temporary DNS servers to one website with a sign saying your computer may be infected, here's how to fix it. They arent this dumb (and neither are we), something smells fishy.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Royal

      Actually I think this is just bad reporting. Long ago, in previous articles, the "shutdown" procedure was to stop performing valid DNS queries and route to a static page. After that they would eventually get taken down. Of course, that was tech press, and not "real" news journalists. All these articles just say the same things over and over without references if there are any "steps" in shutting down. I love the "we tried to contact infected people but we couldn't reach them all" – that line I love. Really? By phone or email? LOL How do you ever do that? Maybe they've been redirecting them to a webpage for months. Which means all of these computers are unattended and ignored or don't actually use the internet for any valued or looked after function. So no one will care when the internet doesn't work on an old server, that has no internet function. Just poor reporting missing lots of facts.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Montezuma

    they do this all the time. the difference here is there is a junior cnn reporter trying to get attention.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dan I

    For all those saying "why didn't we here about this before" and insinuating it's some kind of false flag operation. Stories about the impending switchover appeared MONTHS ago and if you were plugged into tech news (which many people ignore as "useless" or "geeky") then you would have known about DNSChanger at it's inception. It was fairly big news at the time.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. JanetMermaid

    Wow, reading the comments from people reminds me how computer ILLITERATE we still are as a nation. No wonder we're falling behind.

    July 9, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. DNS Badguys

    This trend was started by the very same good guys who "control" the Internet, when they started forwarding DNS queries to advertising sites, when a domain was not found. Once the not so good guys took that income away, the FBI got involved!

    July 9, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Woody

    it never hurts be be protected in everything you do as there is a virus out there for just about everything and you would not leave your body unprotected or your home and the internet is simply an open door to a burglar unless you have a lock on that door .

    July 9, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. SF

    Please send me an email if you cannot get on the internet now.
    Oh, wait... 🙂

    July 9, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. camty

    This was major media hype just like the Y2K bug, bird flu, swine flu, West Nile, Killer bees, UFO sightings, Bigfoot, and the upcoming 2012 end of the world nonsense. The movie will be on SYFY next yeer.

    July 9, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. cpc65

    It is exactly overblown hype. I know I have absolutely nothing to worry abou.................................

    July 9, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
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