ON YOUR SIDE ALERT: Malware tries to bring down web - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

ON YOUR SIDE ALERT: Malware tries to bring down web

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Malware called "DNS Changer" will attempt to block computers from accessing the internet in July, but there's a way you can check to see if your computer is infected right now.

"I have seen too many times where you see or hear about a world wide virus and I wouldn't know what to do," says Nancy Pickard who is on the computer every day, all day, and is always nervous about viruses.

Like most of us, she had not heard of this virus called DNS Changer. Cyber expert Theresa Payton says the malware was supposed to launch in March and "be a disaster" infecting millions of computers.

"You're visiting sites you normally do, maybe going to a website they're putting up in front of it," Payton explains. The malware could steal your personal information and you'd have no idea.

When the FBI caught the hackers, they replaced the bad servers doing all the dirty work with safe ones. If they hadn't, computers trained to go to the bad web addresses would no longer connect to the internet. The problem is the FBI can't keep those good-guy replacement servers going forever.

"Time was running out and there are still millions of computers still talking to these bad addresses," says Payton.

So investigators are trying to get the word out that there's an easy way to find out if your computer is infected. A website that walks you step by step through the process and teaches you how to get rid of the virus if you have it.

"We must do this, everybody must, after the program checks their computers at work and home and make sure you're not talking these bad addresses."

The FBI has provided detailed instructions on how to check your computer. You can get those by clicking here. You can also find the FBI tool by clicking here

"I am excited to hear about this, because for non-IT people like myself, I need step-by-step [instructions]. What's the easiest way to approach this without getting professional help?"

Experts say make sure you're anti virus protection is up to date and also be careful when opening attachments and clicking links in emails.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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