Washington, April 22: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned that thousands of web users worldwide could lose Internet access after a hackers ‘adverting scam infected computers.
The problem started after international hackers ran an online advertising scam to get control of infected computers around the world, The Daily Mail reports.
In response, the FBI had set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. However, that system is also to be shut down.
It is estimated that hackers have targeted a network of about 570,000 computers.
They took advantage of vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system to install malicious software in the victims computers. This turned off antivirus updates.ost victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the software has probably slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software.
The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem.
However, after July 9, infected users will not be able to connect to the Internet.
The FBI believes that on the day of the arrests, at least 568,000 unique Internet addresses were using the servers.
At about 85,000, the U.S. has the most victims, federal authorities said.
Other countries have victims with more than 20,000 each, including Italy, India, England and Germany.
Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, has said that most of the victims are probably individual home users, rather than corporations.
According to the FBI, the hackers have earned at least 14 million dollars in the scam. (ANI)