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. tucsand

    I hate to say this but it sounds awful clever of the malware authors. They made it sound like it was a big nasty infection that the world would come to an end when still 5 months away from December 21st :). If it was my choice for how the world ends lets at least go out with a bang not a computer virus 🙂

    July 9, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Greenspam

    I saved my Y2K leftover portions for the dire prediction of the end of the world, thank god nothing happened this time again. Now, I will use the same portions for 12/12/12 event.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      good one...lol....but that should say 12-21-12...

      July 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. nc1965

    Get yourselves a Mac. Problem solved.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Lokust

      Because macs never get viruses?

      July 9, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • krozar

      Something I would expect an idiot Mac user to say. Why bother with a blasted anti-malware (some good ones even free)? Macs are PCs btw. You mean get OSx for your PC?

      July 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Macs are infected too, actually at a higher per capita.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Wastrel

      Get a free OS (linux) on a cheap computer, type "dig" at a prompt.

      Mac? Mac does work. That's about all I can say about it. I consider "Get a Mac" to be advertising.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Macs get viruses too, don't let that lie get to you.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • M

      Sorry to inform you, but Macs were also susceptible to DNSChanger.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      I'm a computer geek... macs get viruses, you know. The first virus for them was reported years ago. Saying that macs don't just shows you know nothing about computers.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael Davis

      Keep thinking that. It will be a rude awakening.

      July 9, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • twistedpuppet

      That would be a good idea if it wern't for that nasty virus one can get through bittorrent that ONLY affects Macs. Mac relies on the fact that Microsoft is top dog and therefore gets hit more often. A Mac is just as vulnerable, of not MORE vulnerable than a pc. Stop kidding yourself culty.

      July 9, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. beeswax

    Stevens left me note saying just to get a big pipe cleaner and ream out them tubes.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. brown

    CNN, you suck!

    July 9, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. AlexB

    Did anyone notice that Yahoo and AOL are down? Is this a strange coincidence, or something more?

    July 9, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • TH

      Sorry Alex, but if your AOL and Yahoo are not connecting, it's because you have the virus. If you can, Google "tdsskiller", download and run it. It should take care of the malware.

      July 9, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. terpfan2011

    CNN should post a page requesting people to post an ireport if you don't have internet (LOL)

    July 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. hypatia

    Anyone remember Y2K?

    July 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil

    Hooray, now the fbi has a publicly promoted precedent for their role as an overseer and potential censor of internet content and availability. Imagine if the fbi said they would reroute your phone calls thru their servers to prevent a catastrophe. No problem,right?

    July 9, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. HarryD

    This is soooo overhyped.... it's amazing... this is old – 2007...

    July 9, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. keith

    True that internet use has become a part of everyday life in work and home – however best know how to get by when this fails as it will from time to time – just like any other manmade device

    July 9, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Van

    If there are very few infected computers that can't get on the internet today...then it was a job well done!...The hype served it's purpose and people took action.

    btw...Both Windows and Mac computers could be infected...Linux computers aren't vulnerable to this trojan.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Rob

    Hype mostly, and it's thanks to our media friends.

    I work for a call center based in the midwest that focuses on end user Internet support, and we've been getting flooded with calls from customer's that are confused about this process because the news told them to be afraid, be very afraid. The truth of the matter is that the bulk of the Internet providers were responsible and pro-active and have been working to notify customer's that are impacted.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Melissa

    Guys, just be smart. You won't get a virus.

    July 9, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Michael

    Freedom of speech and expression if a man are a woman cannot express there selfs and if there voice is not heard , then the trend is to top there top. It is healthy to speek your mind in all cases weather others agree are not.. The war of words is an ulgy thing but a man are a woman with no words are a cause is the ugliest of all sins.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
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