FBI: Hundreds Of Thousands To Lose Internet Monday
OKLAHOMA CITY - The FBI says Americans are just days away from an internet shut down that is expected to target hundreds of thousands of people. The FBI says those who have the virus don't even know it. Luckily, there are some simple steps to take to find out.
For the past year, the malware has been targeting both PCs and Macs. The FBI says infected computers are directed to specific servers halfway around the world. In order to fix it, agents will need to shut those servers down and that's the problem.
Think of it as an illness the computer world has been dealing with for the past year. The symptoms have not been severe yet, but the FBI says the hourglass is almost empty.
"This was an internet fraud scheme," said James Finch, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oklahoma City.
In November 2011, six people were arrested in Estonia for corrupting 4-million computers globally, including about 500,000 computers in the United States. On Monday, the bureau will be shutting down the malware servers.
"It was definitely financially motivated," Finch said. "The bad guys made [more than] $14-million."
The FBI says the cons made that cash by directing users to websites for marketing purposes.
Checking to see if your computer has the virus is easy. Just go to this website. One you're there click "detect" and scroll down to the language you prefer. If you receive a green color, your computer is fine. If you receive a red color, follow additional instructions to get rid of the virus.
"It doesn't hurt to go to one of these sites and check," Finch said.
If you have the virus and don't take care of it before Monday, the FBI says you will need to contact your internet service provider to get back online. The FBI says since the virus hit the U.S., about 150,000 computers have been restored.