updated - April 21, 2014 Monday EDT
Around 300,000 laptop and computer owners are infected with the DNSChanger Malware virus without them knowing. The unfortunate consequence for this is the computer will not be able to go online as of 12:01 a.m. EDT Monday, July 9.
This is because of malicious software at the heart of a hacking scam that U.S. authorities shut down last November.
You can check to see if your PC is infected by going to www.dns-ok.us. If your PC has the DNSChanger malware, you'll be provided links to resources to remove it.
According to the FBI, the number of computers infected is probably more than 277,000 worldwide, down from about 360,000 in April. About 64,000 still-infected computers are probably in the United States.
And it's not just consumer computers. Washington-based Internet Identity (IID) Tacoma, which has been monitoring the cleanup efforts said last week that 12 percent of Fortune 500 firms had their computers or routers infected with the DNSChanger. Government computers weren't immune either.
"We're all struggling with this," said Rod Rasmussen, chief technology officer of IID and a member of the DNSChanger Working Group (DCWG), a volunteer organization of security professionals and companies. "There are a lot of people who just haven't gotten the word."
The DCWG worked extensively with ISPs (Internet service providers) to help them alert customers with infected computers and advise them on removing the malware. The group also reached out to enterprises, government agencies and other organizations to offer the same assistance.
The DCWG's website also has links to free tools that remove the malware.
TOP 10 FRANCHISE FOR 2013