How To Check Your Computer For DNSChanger – Before July 9 Disconnect

On July 9th, this coming Monday it has been predicted that thousands of people will be affected by an obscure malware that had in the past targeted vulnerable DNS servers.

As background a DNS server helps your computer to map a website url (www.website.com) to a computer address called an IP address (199.0.0.1), because humans are better at remembering names of things instead of numbers. However IP address numbers tell your computer which network and which computer within that network to connect to while accessing the internet.

Read more in our earlier blog post on What is DNS?

Now imagine someone could mess with this low level infrastructure and reroute it to another address or worse to an invalid IP address that is not being used. This would effectively prevent you from accessing the internet or web address (URL) because your computer would not be able to find the corresponding IP address to find the network and computer you are requesting.

The good news is that this issue has been fixed the bad news is that the DNS server(s) that were compromised were left running so internet users still using them for routing would not go offline, effectively severing internet connectivity for those users. However the plan is to turn off and pull the plug on the affected DNS servers on July 9th.

To check if you will be affected by the DNSChanger the FBI has setup a tool to to do a DNS check where you can enter your DNS information to see if your DNS server has been compromised.

There is a also a DNSChanger malware visual guide (PDF) available to help explain what you are looking for to see if you have been already compromised.

Google had also started notifying users back in May if they determined you were using one of the affected DNSChanger DNS servers when you accessed their services. You would have seen a warning message displayed.

What is DNS, and Why Use Domain Name Monitoring to Protect your Domain Name?

DNS
A DNS system is a complex hierarchical naming convention for anything that connects to the Internet such as routers, computers, wireless devices, and servers, among other devices. They are also called distributed DNS and they translate the human readable names of websites and URLs into binary language (ones and zeros) readable by computers. A lot of work goes into naming a domain for the Internet, especially when businesses are attempting to promote their goods and services. The right domain names can make or break a company.

Once a name has been chosen for a website, Domain Name Monitoring services can help manage the site and alerts the owner of any changes, intentional or not. Various forms of monitoring services exist including those that monitor other domains for similar or confusing names that could be construed or believed to be that of the company using the monitoring service.

For example, a business chooses the name of “exampleYY.com” as their website name and another website registers the name “example-YY.com.” While it is not the same name, as no two domains can hold the same name, the other one could easily be confused for the original. If the second one is known for spam or illegal activities, then because they are similar, the first domain could take the blame. A monitoring service would alert the owner of the original site to the second name and continue to watch for any changes, such as if the original site were added to blacklists because of activities of the second site. This type of Domain Name Monitoring is sometimes called Brand Monitoring as well.

Another form of monitoring includes monitoring upcoming expiration dates, domain transfers, and any other status changes. Each time an action is performed concerning the monitored domain, the domain owner receives an alert to the action and is offered options on what to do. For example, if a website is about to expire, the monitoring service might offer options to register the site for another term. Other services will monitor networking and uptime as well as traffic, among other things. It is difficult picking Domain Names, and protecting the perfect one is the best reason to use Domain Name Monitoring.

For more information on Domain Ensure signup for our beta notification list on our website.