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. lejaune

    Of course it's fear mongering by the media. They did the same thing prior to year 2000 claiming computers would drop dead at midnight 12-31-1999. I still have a couple of computers from 1990s. They still work.

    July 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. edvhou812

    The media, hype things out of proportion??? Get out of here!

    July 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cyg

    Internet Blackout – so will life end like the oil and gas guys tell us it will, when this happens too? Should the human race just fetal up and die? I guess so.

    July 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babyboomer

      If you think that "taking servers down" in some way equates to "life will end", you have a serious problem. The FBI has not deemed that "life will end", nor has the media. Another case of people not comprehending the information that is provided to them.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Klaus

    No, it is not a hype, because an honest estimate of infected computers was made. I used the step-by-step plan to check my computer for fake DNS servers and found none. All you complainers, why don't you just do the same to be safe?

    July 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. infiltrate the matrix

    this is lie.. We are in a cyber war over truth and lies.. People's conciousnesses are awakening right now.. Last night their frequency was healed by two very loving people who have a very powerful frequency to override the HAARP frequency that has been destroying peoples ability to think forselves & stand up to the negative energies that have been manipulating out thoughts. Your frequency has been healed.. Im speaking to everyone in the world. This is the true revolution. Wake up to your awakening.. It has already happened! A miracle in existence. Your interenet will not be affected.. Because the same people who can weild energy like the wind are protecting you all. We can manifest our reality & so can you! Try it! They cannot win! This is a hoax by the FBI.. The FBI are like body guards for the people destroying our planet. We must stand strong together & not believe in the lies anymore.. EXPLOIT THE LIES! Also, last night i know the world felt a new frequency.. Energy.. Vibration on the planet.. FEEL IT!

    July 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jinkies!

      Your meds await.

      July 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • socabron

      I want some of that!

      July 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I want some of what he is having.

      July 8, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • fritz

      Shrooms, right? I'll take a couple of those. Will I see pretty colors?

      July 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hellinahandbasket

      Waaaait a minute!!! I'm online, are you??? Where are these 'servers'... in Iran or Iraq? Syria?? O i c this is just 'practice' for Israel.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Maq is Baq

    This is complete hype. We're talking 45,000 out of millions of devices in the United States. It's the government's mistake for dragging this out to begin with. Either way, I'm going to make money (since I'm in IT having to clean malware up).

    July 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. House

    Y2k all over again.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David

    Hype!! Who in the world trust the FBI enough to log onto a site of their's to check their computer, and give the FBI access. Nobody I know has done this! It is very sad when our own FBI has lost so much trust in the American people they won't even log onto to a FBI help site. Sign of the times.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mullah Omar

    Media creates fear. One guy writes an article and whole world goes limbo.

    July 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. matrix is real

    yah the whole world knows by now that the FBI is a completely corrupt system... They break every single law they create...don't worry tho.. It will all end soon lovely beings of the world.. Definitely a sign of the end times.. But the end is the end to the lies.. Open your concious minds.. Let love energy flow into your vibration.. The people trying to destroy the planet feed off of negative energy.. What better way to get negative energy going for them again, then by creating mass hysteria? They know the world's frequency has been healed so they're trying to counteract it.. Won't work this time! Feel the love.. Feel the love vibration covering the whole earth.. We can manifest reality... The world is shifting into higher states of awareness right now.. Some may not recognise & might feel a little sick & uncomfortable.. So right now & am going to manifest a synchronization of events to happen to every single person on theplanet.. Especially children..to bring them to full understanding of their awakening ;D

    July 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • TO: matrix is real

      Wow. I think the vibration from riding your washine machine has infected your brain.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pntkl

    I'm wondering why there isn't a buffer warning period, before the shutdown. It wouldn't be that difficult. A simple page that provides a notice and relevant information for cleanup, before redirecting users to their destination. Then again, maybe that's just crazy talk.

    July 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rod K

      Exactly. But then again the FBI doesn't employ people that actually understand how things work. They consulted a company that saw government $$$ waiting to fill their wallets and suggested a "solution" that gave them as long as a contract as they would pay, and probably charged outrageously for this "service" that cost them a few dollars/month to provide.

      July 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rod K

    The FBI totally screwed the pooch on this one. The company they hired to provide this temporary "service" should be held accountable for not providing a workable solution. The DNS servers installed should not have just provided DNS service, they should have redirected to a notice that the user was infected. Could have been cleaned up in a matter of weeks or even days, but the FBI probably paid a LOT of money for several months of service that cost the provider a few dollars at most.

    July 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bob

    matrix's weed was definitely laced. unfortunately, that's what happens when you buy in the 'hood.

    July 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Monique

    I am not sure I trust this. Maybe the FBI just wants access to our computers to track us. I don't know about this. Trusting the government. Maybe or maybe not. I will have to see.

    July 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bobak

    and probably it is something just for "Windows" users..Macs safe 🙂

    July 9, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      If you believe Macs don't get viruses you have a rude awakening on its way

      July 9, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Guess again. There are step-by-step instructions for MAC users also. The problem is with the servers you use to link to the internet. So ANY computer can be infected.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Clarissa

      I've had my macbook pro for almost 5 yrs and has never had a virus. So.... what are we waiting for lol?

      July 9, 2012 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Mac-v-PC

      Yes folks, another Mac user wowfully misinformed. I guess that comes with the territory. Yes, Macs are effected by the DNSChanger issue because it has nothing to do with the computer being used, it's all in the way computers (of ALL kinds) access the internet. As far a viruses? Also misinformed, as can be expected.; There ARE Mac viruses in the wild and there's nothing in a Mac's guts that would keep them from being effected by them. Just not many out there becuse those that get a thrill out of writting them, target the 97% of the world that is not Mac-based. After all, why even bother for the other 3%. It would take a sickness UPON a sickness to write something that attacks only 3% of users.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
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