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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 07, 2012, 04:34 PM

Thousands of Americans may lose internet connection on Monday

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Thousands of Americans may lose internet connection this Monday - in connection to a virus you might not even know you have.

By: Melanie Orlins, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Thousands of Americans may lose internet connection this Monday - in connection to a virus you might not even know you have.

That's the day the FBI will pull the plug on the Domain Name System servers that have been running as a band-aid for people who were affected by this virus.

The FBI has estimated that roughly 50-thousand computers are infected nationwide. And if your computer is one of them, you won't be able to access the internet on Monday.

"It would not be good, I'd probably panic."

"I'd pretty much be dead then."

"Losing internet would not affect me at all."

A group of hackers created a piece of malware called a D-N-S Changer that tarnished the Domain Name System.

John Sistad/RAPTOR PCS OWNER: "The DNS changer basically all it does is point your computer at a road server that's sitting out there and it's funneling everything through that server."

In layman terms - an internet user would click on one site and be directed to a completely different site.

Sistad: "It's actually part of the boot record so it actually launches before your computer gets into windows."

It's not "just" P-C's that are infected. Mac's can have the virus, too. This Monday, the F-B-I is removing the temporary servers it put in place to give those infected time to fix their computers.

There's a simple way to find out if you're one of the 50-thousand with the problem by going to the D-N-S-ok.us website. It will show up green-meaning you're in the clear or red--meaning you're infected. Computer shops say it's under 100-dollars to fix.

Sistad: "There's literally hundreds of new viruses that come out every month--it's just like wildfire."

And this is just one that could really define a 'manic' Monday.

Ashley Makowski: "I use it for my school work, I use it to look up common day stuff, I use it for Facebook obviously (laughs)."

"If I couldn't be connected, I couldn't do anything basically."

Google and Facebook have also set up notifications to let users know if they're infected.

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