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. Chris

    To Jeanne Mealy...you are completely correct on that one. Would it not be interesting to see what would happen to the world if the internet shut down for a mere hour? Could not eat dinner at a restaurant in Atlanta, because their computer crashed and they did not know how to take orders and relay them to the kitchen without it. They had food, tables available and a wait staff, yet were unable to seat anyone.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris collins

      Well that is pretty dumb. Maybe not with a credit card but you could use cash. If they had it set up to rely soley on the internet or just a computer I wouldnt wanna eat there anyways.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. steve

    That's easy, it's on CNN, so therefore it is hype. They just want their readers in terror as often as possible, it keeps readers reading and CNN selling ad space.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Facefur

    Why is the FBI in this at all? Since when did they become the Internet police?

    July 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave T

      The FBI is involved because this wa a federal crime that was caused by computer hackers and cyber crime is part of what the FBI investigates and is in charge if preventing.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Johnna

    I think a public execution (as a future deterant ) would be inline for the hackers from Estonia. Let's make it a reality TV show for all hackers, I bet the ratings would be high.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BillX, Google public DNS. Problem solved.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. phrancis

    I have no sympathy for those who lost the internet. If you're gonna use modern technology, then you need to have a basic understanding of how it works...

    July 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fede

      Phrancis, I'm sure you know how cars work and are able to fix it in the event it breaks down. Also assume you know how to fix your electric box, all your appliances. After all, you are using them, right?

      July 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. @ Jeanne Mealy (11:35)

    I absolutely love your post; too cute. -Lady Vee

    July 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GeorgeBos95

    It's July 10 ... and it was ALL HYPE.

    CNN and other media outlets just can't stop screaming hysterically. Everything is overblown, a crisis, a panic. CNN interviews people who have no freaking clue about an issue, giving them more facetime in exchange for more drama.

    They never get it right, they just get it pumped up. Total waste of time.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. jorge washinsen

    i suspect it was a bunch of hooey to cover a much worse mess that was also created by man a heck of a lot closer than Estonia or some far away unheard of place.Too much mess cropping up on our computers especially since google took over the thing.There is a commercial on every crack on the screen.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
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    July 11, 2012 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
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