Update: I posted this in April, but the story is resurfacing again and alarming folks again. So here is my take once again:
This weekend, my local newspaper ran a story similar to this one at PC Magazine. It outlined (in usual newspaper sensationalism fashion) that “thousands of computer users could lose Internet in July”. I call it sensational because the headline alone (which I’m suspecting is all many people read) has two words that should calm people down a little, thousands and could. Currently, there are more than 1 billion Internet users world-wide…I wouldn’t be alarmed by thousands. Secondly, could is vague…and can easily be interchanged with the less alarming might.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk briefly about what this threat is and who it affects and what to do about it. Late last year, the FBI in conjunction with NASA and the Estonian police broke into a spyware ring and arrested all the major players. In doing so, they also took over their vast computer operation and discovered that any Internet user who had clicked on a rouge link in an email or visited an infected web site run by these shady characters AND didn’t get the original infection fixed, would be subject to Internet redirect problems come July 2012. Read the previous sentence again…it’s important and defines who is at risk.