10 Jul 2012

Doomsday virus fizzles

8:10 am on 10 July 2012

An internet doomsday virus with the potential to black out computers worldwide appears to have posed no major problems after a fix expired.

Security firms have reported no significant outages linked to the DNS Changer virus, as many internet service providers either implemented a fix or contacted customers with steps to clean their computers.

The problem stems from malware known as DNS Changer, which was created by cybercriminals to redirect internet traffic by hijacking the domain name systems of web browsers.

The ring behind the DNS Changer was shut down last year by the FBI, Estonian police and other law enforcement agencies, after infecting about four million computers worldwide.

Nearly 300,000 computers appeared to be still infected as of June, according to experts monitoring the problem.

Temporary servers were set up on Monday by the FBI to direct internet traffic normally, even for infected computers, but they have now been shut down.