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07-05-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
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If you can't connect in a few days...

It's items like this that really make my day.

Maximum PC | DNS Malware to Knock Hundreds of Thousands of PCs Offline Monday

The title alone says it all; although it is to my understanding that the numbers claimed in the title and article are in fact drastically underestimated. Not to worry though; technically most computers can still in fact work to some extent without the internet.

But come next Monday; many people will in fact not be able to access the internet. Their options... Try to use a version of a restore point to see if that item might just be able to save them. But for most; this simply won't work. One would also be suprised at the numbers of people whom rarely use restore point prperly and who also back up their computer properly.

The second option will come as an option that will cost money; especially if one runs Windows Vista. Because Microsoft recently announced that it will no longer offer non critical updates for Vista without a type of subscription. Which means if a Vista person needs to do a clean restore from point zero - that their computer still may not operate properly without the paid subscription.

Even for people not having Vista; a clean reboot does take time - in some cases days of time. Also in some cases a clean reboot may not be free - even if one does not use Vista.

It might be bad enough for some people that they'll even need to go out to purchase a new system and just scrap the old one.

Interestingly enough this one just does not effect consumers, but also even quite large corporations. I (shall I state) ran into a grocery monopoly (top 20 in the world) that does have issues with this one. So far it has cost them many millions. It will also cost them many million more. This one even effects well established fortune 500 companes.

07-05-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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"It might be bad enough for some people that they'll even need to go out to purchase a new system and just scrap the old one."

Hardware is undamaged. Any competent tech can fix this.

"Which means if a Vista person needs to do a clean restore from point zero - that their computer still may not operate properly without the paid subscription."

Their computer will operate just fine, no paid subscription is necessary for the PC to be operational.

For anyone who wants to check their PC's for this, go to DNS Changer Check-Up - Clean
07-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Their computer will operate just fine, no paid subscription is necessary for the PC to be operational
No; Vista no longer supports non critical updates without a paid subscription. Sure someone could attempt to do only the critical ones; but their system would in fact lock up to any njmber of issues in no time. On the Microsoft oficial site and any number of other professional sites; this has already been addresses and has in fact occured. So if anyone needs to do a complete system restore from scratch - they will either have to try to deal with the issues or pay for a type of subscription. There are already many, many documented cases of this.

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Hardware is undamaged. Any competent tech can fix this
Hardware uneffected yes. Fixable, perhaps. Depends on how the restore points are set up; if they are set correctly, how much memory they are set to take, how far back they go, etc... Any number of over one dozen issues. But to reiterate... A majorty of people out there do NOT have their restore points set up correctly; or do it themselves correctly. Sure there is perhaps the once a month (or perhaps a bit more frequently) MS update which does typically set a restore point.

Also noting that; if items such as MS W7 are set up correctly; it's almost so foolproof that it almost never fails. It would almost autocorrect out of an item such as this type of malware.

But to everyone out there... Here is yet another well researched and posted article (for publication) that does in fact clearly state how many people will be effected. I'm stating it is to my understanding that it will be much larger than that.

Also, how easy will the fix be?? Depends upon one computer knowledge. But then again; if they were able to get a dns malware issue in the first place - then their knowledge of computers must not be the highest itn he world.

Chances of them fixing it themselves, just depends. Sure a tech can fix it, but at how much time and how much cost? And would there need to be a full system restore from day one?

This all comes from a Microsoft Partner and former contractor. I might strongly suggest that someone do some reading up on Vista.
07-05-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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You don't need to have an updated Vista in order for your PC to operate. There are a very few programs that might have issues, but for 99.9% of them, it's fine.

Restore points fail; oh well. Many computers have a (sometimes hidden) restore partition, or boot media. Programs might be lost, but data is saved. Any halfway decent tech or shopshoudl be able to take care of this problem for $200 or less.

I've been an IT pro since 1994.

07-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Medium FormatPro Quote
Vista no longer supports non critical updates without a paid subscription
I don't see that. I have my nephew's laptop here I just reinstalled Vista on and I've installed all updates on it that Windows had for the last few months or more. I think the statement that Microsoft meant was if it wasn't updated with SP2.

Oh and my own computer does a backup every week, so if this thing attacks me, I can restore from a backup, not that it matters, if it dies, it's a good reason for me to build a new one.

Btw, snoops says it is true, but gives links to ways of getting rid of the virus should you or your friends get it:

http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/dnschanger.asp

I use snoops because I have family that hears these viruses are out there only to find out from snoops they're not true.

Last edited by photolady95; 07-05-2012 at 09:30 PM.
07-05-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
Oh and my own computer does a backup every week, so if this thing attacks me, I can restore from a backup, not that it matters, if it dies, it's a good reason for me to build a new one.
Wise person.

In fact, here's a site that has a list of free tools for the DNSChanger Virus:

Fix | DCWG
07-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #7
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That site was listed on snoops site also. However, either snoops or my browser, Opera, wouldn't let me even copy the sentence with the link. It was probably Opera, and sometimes I get a little peeved at their thinking.
07-06-2012, 06:09 AM   #8
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I've never understood why most people using Windows bother with System Restore. It doesn't work right, never has, and it just takes up resources you don't need to take up running your machine in the first place. I've never had much luck with it even when I needed it. I have a dual boot of Win 7. Both boots have my most used software on them. I don't keep much that's important on the HD, like documents. I back up anything I need to frequently to rewritable DVD or to a portable drive. If I had to I could just switch over to the alternate Win 7 and use that while I fix whatever is going on with my primary install. It's a lot more effective system than using Windows System restore. Just going backwards a week on your machine doesn't always help and System Restore doesn't keep that many older backups to revert back to. Chances are if you picked up a bug or have an unknown issue going on you won't solve it by going back a week anyway. Maybe, but who knows when your problem really started?

Clean the machine and/or fix the driver. If you can't then a clean reinstall is likely better anyhow because you can monitor the situation and watch for the problem to occur, and make sure it won't happen again. I firmly believe in reinstalling my OS from scratch every year or two anyhow. Even proper usage of the OS can lead to file corruption. A bad driver or upgrade is all it takes sometimes. Uninstall a program even doing it the right way it can take files you need with it. I scan my system for viruses and malware at least once a week, run a good firewall and bug/redirect/ad blockers all the time. If I am infected I know it usually before it causes any major problems. I scan anything that gets onto my computer too. I don't use outside utilities to fix Windows or to clean it up. Those kinds of programs can cause more trouble than they're worth. If I have to clean, defrag or partition I use the utilities in Windows to do that. That's what they're there for.

I'm not going to say I've never had a bug. Of course I have. Just going to Google and hitting a news story or doing a search can get you into trouble these days. I've had that happen. One minute I'm reading a news story or looking up something and the next I've gotten redirected and now I have a browser bug. That's despite all my precautions. It's a PITA all the crap out there these days. Used to be unless you were playing with warez or hitting porn sites you didn't have to worry about all that. Now we get hit just looking up reviews on shoes or whatever.

If a really bad bug hits it's likely System Restore won't catch it anyhow. Many of them are designed to take advantage of the fact that your system files restore themselves. Some of them even fool the antivirus software, shut it down. You think you've cleaned the bug. You hit system restore and "OOPS!" there's that bug back again because it was lurking in the System Restore files where it's near impossible to get rid of it. If it's that bad you're better off reinstalling usually and watching over things to make sure it doesn't happen again. It's almost impossible to avoid it completely though.

The people who design the stuff, they're making bugs that are so sophisticated that the best anti-bug software out there can't even see them coming, and no computer is immune. No, not even an Apple or a computer running Linux or Android. With every day that goes by they make more and more crap for every OS. My Apple and Linux friends used to be so smug about that but the past few years I've watched them eat crow because there are more and more people apparently writing junk for those OS's now. Lately there's even stuff for Android phones and tablets.

It makes me very conscious about what I put on my phone and tablet. I use my CC on one machine. My LAN wired PC behind the best firewall et all I can afford. I'd never put that info on a phone, my laptop, or on my tablet, any device where I'm using Wifi all the time. The PC stays at home. The rest travel and if they travel it's more likely they can be hacked. I have one CC that I watch like a hawk and that I use for online and local purchases that I can't do in cash. I don't use my debit/ATM card even at the grocery store anymore. There have been stores and eateries that have been hacked locally. Last thing I want is for anyone to get my whole bank account and have all my money hung up for a month or more while they sort out police reports, responsibility, et all. I can always cancel a CC and get a new one while they figure it out but I still need to pay my bills regardless, you know?

I've been accused of being too security conscious, too paranoid, but the way I see it you really can't be. ID theft and computer crime is on the rise and you have to be vigilant. All it takes these days is a few mouse clicks and you can be infected and there it is, your whole life up for grabs.

07-06-2012, 06:33 AM   #9
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the really stupid thing about this whole thing is it's been around for 3 years now, and this is not the first warning of it. Anyone running a windows system that doesn't run good spyware and antivirus programs and keep them updated is just asking for these issues. It's been on almost any spyware and antivirus database for quite a long time now to block it's Installation. I run regular sweeps on both my systems at home and my work one., but to be sure i also ran a check on all 3 yesterday when the reminder came out and am clean. the numbers of people they are talking about in relation to the huge number of computers connected to the web are actually pretty small, and I will bet 75% or more of them have never updated the AV software on their system, and may not even run an antispyware tool. We used to get people in like this all the time when I worked retail and we had a tech desk. the sheer number of virus' and malware some people had on their systems was astonishing
BTW Photolady I Applaud you for the backup program., I'll point out that strictly speaking this isn't a Virus but Malware (which is far more problematic than most virus since in many cases it's directly tied to Identity theft)
07-06-2012, 06:43 AM   #10
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For what's it's worth, I wasn't talking about system restore, I was talking a whole system backup. LIke an image of my harddrive, that's clean. And another thought for you, it depends on which OS you're running but Windows 7's system restore is better than any other Microsoft's OSs so far. It restores not only your OS but your files too. As for using disk space, you can adjust that, so it doesn't eat your whole drive. I've set mine to 200mb.

Secure systems. Mine is and always will be. I do not leave my cc numbers on any site I buy from. But I will tell you this, debit numbers are vulnerable but a cc number, anyone hacking the system you used, they'll get more than just your bank account. The hackers will get everything there is to know about you. Where you live, even.

As a very private person, I can say, my systems are clean and protected, more than the average computer owners. Also, because of this (call it paranoia, if you want) and because I build my own systems, installing blocks to keep those hackers out, a firewall is a must, mine is not on this computer but the real firewall, a second computer to block anything trying to get to the one I am using to type this. I do realize the average user can't do what I do, but they can either buy a firewall software, or make sure the one in their OS is turned on, though, XPs wasn't so great, after SP3, it was better than none.

One thing I've been aware for a few years. When most people do googling, they don't pay attention to that address underneath the google find. If it doesn't match what you're looking for beware that it probably will get you infected.
07-06-2012, 07:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
One thing I've been aware for a few years. When most people do googling, they don't pay attention to that address underneath the google find. If it doesn't match what you're looking for beware that it probably will get you infected.
If people would just learn this simple thing it likely would prevent a lot of issues (and yep a firewall should always be on, I forgot to mention it (it just seems so obvious it's the first line of defense)
last round of upgrade i seriously considered changing to apple in part because of the ridiculous security issues on Windows. Apple isn't really more secure of course, but it is less prone to attacks because the user base is small. that is changing now though
07-06-2012, 07:06 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
that is changing now though
True, and rapidly. I just fixed one of my nephew's laptop, his harddrive died, and I installed a new one. He was talking about going Apple until I showed him the information about Apple's aren't as immune anymore.
07-06-2012, 07:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
True, and rapidly. I just fixed one of my nephew's laptop, his harddrive died, and I installed a new one. He was talking about going Apple until I showed him the information about Apple's aren't as immune anymore.
the big number is because so many mac owners don't run virus/spyware software, believing the hype from a few years back that they are immune. All OS have vulnerabilities, it's just whether it's worth exploiting them. with the market share growth in mac they are becoming worthwhile to exploit
07-06-2012, 07:30 AM   #14
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There is a site where you can do a very quick check and find out if your computer is already infected with the Malware:

DNSChanger Malware Checker - Détecteur de maliciel DNSChanger

If this is going to hit on Monday, it probably is already present in your system.
So, perhaps a good idea to find out before it does cause problems Monday.

JP
07-06-2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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My nephew was under the impression most apple users are, that you don't need an antivirus/antimalware software. When I showed him the above info, he said, "that's the reason I was thinking of going apple. Because I wouldn't need antivirus software." After that, he's decided to stick with PCs.
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