Malware Attack: Customers Online ... For Now
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Internet providers helped an unknown amount of users stay online Monday, as a malware attack threatened to keep more than 41,500 infected computers from accessing the Internet.
But the fixes are not permanent.
Providers, including AT&T and Time Warner , have set up servers to support customers' computers who were infected with the virus but the alternate servers will not be in place forever.
Instead, the temporary fix has been put in place to give customers more time to remove the malware from their computers.
"AT&T will operate legitimate domain name servers through year's end. That gives adequate time for these customers to remove it from their computers and avoid service interruption," a spokesperson for AT&T said in a statement given to CNBC.com.
Time Warner has also set up its own DNS servers to support customers affected by the malware, but the company has not yet assigned an expiration date as to when they will disconnect their customers.
"We are in the process of notifying customers who we suspect may have been infected and will be working with them to remedy the problem... As a result, we do not expect to receive many, if any, incoming customer service calls on this issue," said Justin Venech, a Director of Public Relations for Time Warner.
Verizon said in a statement to CNBC that only a small portion of their customers were affected by the malware and that they would also be supporting affected customers on its own servers. The company said the "extended support" would last through July while the company works with customers to resolve the issue.
The internet providers are battling a malware attack that originally affected over 570,000 computers worldwide. Hackers used an ad scam over a year ago to infect computers with malicious software that changed their DNS system to redirect them to a server that was ultimately used to control their computer and steal personal data.
The FBI intervened in November of last year, but discovered they could not simply shut the servers off without disconnecting all of the victims of the attack from the Internet.
In an effort to give victims time to remove the malware, the FBI set up backup servers to support the victims. But those servers were taken down at 12:01 AM Monday, July 9 and those who didn't remove the malware may have lost their Internet connection.
Despite warnings, there were still over 41,500 computers in the U.S. infected with the malware as of Sunday evening, however, this is far less than the estimated 64,000 infected computers reported last week, according to the FBI.
If your internet connection is not working, the FBI advises to contact your service provider for the next steps in regaining Internet connection.