DNSChanger — News alert! It seems that everyone (meaning, the national media) last week figured out that computers can get viruses, and that these viruses can cause computers to break. Wow! How about that!
Just in case you were hiding under a rock or doing something otherwise more productive, last Monday the FBI turned off the DNS servers that had been left running after the crackdown of the cyber ring responsible for the DNSChanger virus. The DNSChanger virus modified the DNS entry of infected machines to redirect internet traffic to malicious websites.
While the number of impacted machines was estimated at over four million in November 2011, the DNSChanger Working Group estimated that that number had dropped to just over 300,000 worldwide by July 2012. (And, yes. This is the government, so we have to have a working group.) While this number may seem large, it is almost trivial in the context of the 1.5 billion computers that currently operate in the world. Yet we all must suffer through reports like the one from Internet Identity that 12 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 4 percent of government agencies are infected. The loss in productivity could create ruin in the United States, or something like that.
Are you kidding me? While I’ll agree some IT departments are better than others, this virus is more likely to be found on a desktop running XP Service Pack 1 sitting in the spare bedroom of someone’s grandparents that would never notice the internet outage because they only use the desktop computer to play Spider Solitaire since their grandkids gave them an iPad last Christmas! I really don’t think American productivity was ever an issue!
Now don’t get me wrong. Readers of this column all know that I am up for a good apocalypse. But an apocalypse caused by a DNS server outage? Please…
Windows 8 GA — Microsoft announced this week that Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing in August, and the software will be released for General Availability in October. Server 2012 is roughly on the same timeline. Go Get Your Metro On!
Kindle’s Next Fire — Stand by, Kindle fans. Rumors of an August 7 release date for the Fire 2 are circulating. The next Fire looks to provide additional features not found on the original as four versions of the tablet are rumored: 7 inch with no camera, 7 inch with camera, 7 inch with camera and 4G, and 8.9 inch (no word on camera or WiFi). More to come later this month.
Anonymous’ New Target — Last weekend, Anonymous informed the world that it is declaring war on pedophiles. The war has already started, with a large number of pedophile websites taken down over the weekend. Anonymous also released the personal information of hundreds of pedophiles that use and administer this websites.
This isn’t the first time that Anonymous has attacked child porn. In October 2011, the group attacked over 40 pedophilia-sharing websites and outed more than 1,500 alleged pedophiles. This time, it appears that groups around the world are rallying for the cause. From the Anonymous announcement: WE Anonymous aim to diminish if not eradicate this plague from the Internet. For the good of our followers, for the good of mankind and for our own enjoyment we shall expel from the Internet and systematically destroy any such boards that continue to operate.
I wish Anonymous the best of luck.
Until next time, I’m off the grid @gregory_a_baker.
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