Business as usual for ISPs during 'internet blackout'

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Infected boxes remain online.

The mainstream media's DNSChanger internet doomsday arrived without fanfare, as the FBI pulled the plug on servers that allowed thousands of computers in Australia to access the web.

Security firm F-Secure confirmed early Monday that the temporary servers, which replaced the rogue servers that had been operated by a now-dismantled fraud syndicate spreading the DNSChanger trojan, went offline, as expected.

Yet, despite the media hype that some 6000 computers in Australia, 60,000 machines in the US and a couple of hundred thousand elsewhere in the world remained infected and could lose internet connectivity -- creating a Y2K-style scenario -- the resulting scene has been calm.

Australia's second-largest ADSL provider iiNet found no increase in customer requests for assistance in cleansing DNSChanger infections.

The lions' share of infected machines within Australia resided under Telstra within an Autonomous System Network (ASN), according to the DNSChanger Working Group. The network yesterday contained 4383 infected machines.

Telstra, which redirected infected customers so they would not lose internet connectivity, said it had at least 2500 Telstra affected endpoints.

"According to reports, many major internet service providers have configured their own substitute DNS servers and are continuing to work the problem," wrote Sean Sullivan, a security adviser at F-Secure, in a blog post.

"So, the FBI is out, and ISPs are in. 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."

According to F-Secure, the number of infected IP addresses now sits at around 47,000 in the United States -- though many of those machines may not even be actively used to access the internet.

Major ISP Comcast has received a "miniscule" number of help-related calls since midnight, according to company spokesman Charlie Douglas. And like other ISPs, Comcast is standing by and ready to assist any customers, he said.

The SANS Internet Storm Center's Johannes Ullrich further downplayed the hype and suggested users who haven't cleaned their systems by now probably deserve the consequences.

As recently as last fall, an estimated half-million computers in the United States and several million across the world contained the DNSChanger trojan.

"There are about (two billion) internet users," he wrote. "So about 0.01 (percent) of internet users are infected. In other words: Very few. People who have disregarded warning banners, phone calls from ISPs, (anti-virus) warnings, and other notification attempts -- they probably should be disconnected from the internet."

-With Darren Pauli

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition


 
 
 
Top Stories
Westpac interim CIO resigns
Group CIO yet to be appointed.
 
Earning the right to innovate
Breaking down the barriers to innovation is a long, but rewarding process, says Bank of Queensland Group CIO, Julie Bale.
 
Telstra prepares to shut down 2G network
Update: Will farewell "old friend" by end of 2016.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Pass on carbon tax savings, warns ACCC
Jul 24, 2014
The ACCC is warning businesses that supply "regulated goods" to pass on any cost savings ...
Have customers that won't pay debts?
Jul 10, 2014
The ACCC and ASIC have updated their advice when it comes to collecting debts.
Carpet cleaner faces court over online testimonials
Jul 4, 2014
The ACCC has initiated proceedings against A Whistle (1979) Pty Ltd, the franchisor of Electrodry...
You can now get 15GB of free online storage using Microsoft OneDrive
Jun 25, 2014
Cloud storage has reached both the capacity and price where it's a viable alternative to local ...
Another clever trick you can perform with Xero
Jun 25, 2014
Here is another way to reach out to particular subsets of your customers using Xero.
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  27%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  28%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  23%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  5%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 905

Vote