WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Tens of thousands of Americans could be in jeopardy of losing their internet service Monday due to a malware virus that was spread over a year ago.
You may have seen warnings over Facebook or Google directing you to check your computer for malware that could potentially take over your computer. The FBI says over 277,000 computers could be infected worldwide, down from 360,000 in April, and believes about 64,000 of those are in the United States.
Internet service providers have sent out notices and the FBI has set up a special website explaining to users whose computers are still infected that Monday they will lose their ability to go online. Users with infected computers will have to call their service providers for help deleting the malware and reconnecting to the internet.
This is all a part of an online advertising scam ran by international computer hackers designed to take over more than half a million infected computers worldwide. The alarming realization by the FBI came when the agency discovered that if they turned off the servers controlling the infected computers, all the victims would lose internet service altogether.
The FBI employed a private company to install two clean internet servers to overtake the infected servers so people will not suddenly lose their internet connections, but that temporary system will be shut down at 12:01 a.m. EST on Monday, July 9.
The FBI says that most victims don’t even know their computers are infected but the software may have already slowed their web surfing ability and disabled antivirus software.
To see if your computer is infected, visit the website set up by the FBI here.