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. JZ

    If your computer gets hit – Buy a new one. That's the way the U.S. gov wants you to fix it – And they will want you to buy a U.S. Gov. built computer!!! HA! Top that!

    July 9, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      JZ wrote: "If your computer gets hit – Buy a new one. That's the way the U.S. gov wants you to fix it – And they will want you to buy a U.S. Gov. built computer!!! HA! Top that!"

      What the hell are you babbling about? A government-built computer? Wanna list them for me by brand?

      July 9, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. sevvie7

    It's not rocket science to use a little common sense when your computer is connected to the Internet. Make sure Windows (or ANY OTHER OS–that means Mac OS and Linux too–for that matter) is updated (for Windows, verify through Windows Update), make sure YOUR ANTIVIRUS IS UPDATED, and use COMMON SENSE when on the Web. I made SERIOUS cash on the side when I was in junior high cleaning out malware infected PCs and because many people don't take these simple steps in consideration, they landed themselves in this situation. I will tell you that it will help considerably to consider using a Linux OS (such as Ubuntu) as viruses are harder to catch (95% of viruses are strictly Windows executables) and propagate through a Linux system, due to it's design. It will also help if you're not using Windows XP (or god forbid Win2k), because Windows XP has several security faults, patches or no patches.

    July 9, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • itseems

      CNN received their worst ratings in history. Keep it up moonbats – your liberal fan base does you proud!

      July 9, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      "CNN received their worst ratings in history. Keep it up moonbats – your liberal fan base does you proud!"

      I don't know what that has to do with the story, but since you brought it up.....

      You know that "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Gilligan's Island" were #1 TV shows, right?

      Since when does ratings (especially in news) denote quality?

      BTW, the ratings you see are driven mostly by the success of Fox's hate-based night shows (Hannity, O'Reilly, etc).

      July 9, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • digitalclips

      It is also very simple to reset your DNS! Sheesh ... total media grabbing hysteria at its worst. By the way setting your DNS to something other than your normal one can be quite good there are far better ones to choose from.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • digitalclips

      Why do you need to do anything other than reset your own DNS severs or that of any router that may have changes? It is very simple.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. The RealBMac

    Oh No! my Interwebz are down!!! Call Al Gore!!!

    July 9, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • viper1j

      Oh no! Somebody rolled back time to 12/31/99 and Y2Godzilla is running in the streets! XD

      July 9, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Flog any dead horses lately?

      July 9, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      You should thank Al Gore for being in congress at the right time and for having the vision to sponsor several pieces of legislation (such as the high performance computing and communication act of 1991) that actually DID play an important role to developing the fledgling internet of the time. Seriously. If you love your interwebz.. dont mock him... THANK him.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. JZ

    I just got an idea? What if one of the big computer companies paid the gov to set this up so to gather info from everyone? My bet is it's Google!

    July 9, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. pleeze helps me

    mize internetz iz gone!!

    July 9, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. itseems

    CNN – Worst rating in history. Keep it up – your liberal fan base does you proud!

    July 9, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    This is childish hype; just like that sillyness watching handlers feed an eagle other tidbits designed with low-functioning audience members in mind!

    July 9, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dr. DC

    I see there are many people on here this Monday morning with sand in their va&ina!

    July 9, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kitty

    Y2K all over again, also common sense dicates that if thy wish to use the internets thee must use simple knowledge to not get viruses.
    Unless ye use windows. in which case ye are screwed royally, especially if you use IE as a browser.

    July 9, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ron

    Trust the FBI on your own peril.
    The culture of J Edgar Hoover lives and is stronger than ever.
    I would toss my laptop in the river before going to their website and following "step by step" instructions.

    July 9, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Hellinahandbasket

    Does it occur to anyone that this 'internet shutdown' (should it happen) could be 'step one' in a sinister plan by our govt to CONTROL our access to information? Who's doing the 'shutdown'??? THE FBI. As a longtime person (decades) in the computer industry, network arena, this absolutely positively sounds like bull to me!

    July 9, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      Probably was payback for messing with Iran's nuke computers.I would suspect here, before anywhere else if the computers gets screwed up. When the computer is loaded up with commercials anything can happen.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. jorge washinsen

    It has been proven by our teenagers now that a grunt here and there will get a message across as long as they are talking to their own age group

    July 9, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. godamonggeeks

    Not exactly hype because yeah, people will go down. That's a fact, not hype. No, it won't be huge, and it is a simple fix. People have to treat computers like a car. I run into too many people that haven't done any maintenance in 3+ years. Would you go 3 years without ever checking the oil in your car or tire pressure? Computers are machines that need maintenance and in this day and age, more important than a car at times. Go scan your computer to be sure

    July 9, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • dragonwife

      What do you mean, check the oil? I thought you just had to keep filling it with gas..

      (Yes, it 's a joke. No, I'm not really that stupid.)

      July 9, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Grumpster

    Stories of Chicken Little and falling skies always garner ratings. If you got this virus, you deserved it.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • tucsand

      How do they know the sky is falling? maybe the world is rising 🙂

      July 9, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. BobbyBrick

    Wish it was a lot more who'd be without internet..

    July 9, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
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