As many as 277,000 computers around the world, including 64,000 in the U.S., are likely carrying a bit of malware that could have a disastrous effect later this month.
A piece of malware known as DNSChanger may be lurking on tens of thousands of computers and, if it were to hit those who do not discover it in time, their systems may lose Internet service, according to a report from the Associated Press
. Those who are affected will have to call their Internet service provider and ask for help removing the malware from their computer.
The program was distributed by hackers through a bogus online advertising scam that affected as many as 570,000 computers worldwide, the report said. As of April, that number had been whittled down to about 360,000, and continues to drop thanks to awareness-spreading efforts on the part of major organizations, including the FBI.Ondrej Krehel
, chief information security officer for Identity Theft
911, writes regularly about the dangers hackers pose to consumers, and what Internet users can do to avoid these issues.
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