x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Just when you thought it was safe to return to the web … it is

Malware deadline ends and the sun still rises in cyberspace.

DUBAI // The scare over DNSChanger malware was all for naught.

For months the FBI and Google had told web users that they could lose access to the internet if their computer were infected by the malware and it was not removed before July 9.

But more than 24 hours after the cut-off point, internet security companies say they have not seen much of an impact.

"The FBI is out and ISPs [internet service providers] are in," said the F-Secure blog. "All in all, things are working out as they probably should in a case such as this.

"The infection count continues to decrease without a major crisis in support calls. We've only received a couple from our own customers."

DNSChanger was discovered in 2007 and since has infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

The Domain Name System (DNS) turns web address names into numbers, allowing computers to send traffic to the right place.

The malware alters DNS settings, resulting in users being sent to malicious servers that redirect people to harmful sites.

The virus also changes settings on home routers that, in turn, can infect other computers and mobile devices.

In November the FBI and Estonian police arrested a group of people in connection with the malware.

The FBI used a court order to set up temporary servers to allow infected computers to continue using the internet and be repaired.

The court order ended on July 9.