What is DNSChanger and Why Should You Care?

On July 9th, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe may find that they can no longer access web sites without knowing the exact numeric address. So they won’t be able to go to Google.com. Instead they’ll have to go to, which can make getting around the web pretty difficult.

Who will be affected?
Around 300,000 computers around the globe are still part of a botnet called DNSChanger. The botnet altered DNS server settings on the infected computers to conduct click-fraud schemes. Last year the FBI and Estonian authorities arrested the gang behind DNSChanger. Since then, US Courts have authorized running “clean” servers for infected IP addresses. And those servers are set to be turned off on July 9th.

Am I infected?
Probably not. But go to http://www.dcwg.org/detect/ and find out now.

See, we told you that you probably weren’t infected.

On the odd chance you are, you can use our free tool to reset your settings. You should do this now even though the courts are likely to extend the servers for a bit longer. Why now? If you’re infected your computer is a “zombie” and vulnerable to new infections. And these new infections won’t be run by a court in the United States.

For more about DNSChanger visit the F-Secure Labs blog.



[CC image by Brad Montgomery]

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Why your Apple Watch will probably never be infected by malware

On Tuesday Apple announced its latest iPhone models and a new piece of wearable technology some have been anxiously waiting for -- Apple Watch. TechRadar describes the latest innovation from Cupertino as "An iOS 8-friendly watch that plays nice with your iPhone." And if it works like your iPhone, you can expect that it will free of all mobile malware threats, unless you decide to "jailbreak" it. The latest F-Secure Labs Threat Report clears up one big misconception about iOS malware: It does exist, barely. In the first half of 2014, 295 new families and variants or mobile malware were discovered – 294 on Android and one on iOS.  iPhone users can face phishing scams and Wi-Fi hijacking, which is why we created our Freedome VPN, but the threat of getting a bad app on your iOS device is almost non-existent. "Unlike Android, malware on iOS have so far only been effective against jailbroken devices, making the jailbreak tools created by various hacker outfits (and which usually work by exploiting undocumented bugs in the platform) of interest to security researchers," the report explains. The iOS threat that was found earlier this year, Unflod Baby Panda, was designed to listen to outgoing SSL connections in order to steal the device’s Apple ID and password details. Apple ID and passwords have been in the news recently as they may have played a role in a series of hacks of celebrity iCloud accounts that led to the posting of dozens of private photos. Our Mikko Hypponen explained in our latest Threat Report Webinar that many users have been using these accounts for years, mostly to purchase items in the iTunes store, without realizing how much data they were actually protecting. But Unflod Baby Panda is very unlikely to have played any role in the celebrity hacks, as "jailbreaking" a device is still very rare. Few users know about the hack that gives up the protection of the "closed garden" approach of the iOS app store, which has been incredibly successful in keeping malware off the platform, especially compared to the more open Android landscape. The official Play store has seen some infiltration by bad apps, adware and spamware -- as has the iOS app store to a far lesser degree -- but the majority of Android threats come from third-party marketplaces, which is why F-Secure Labs recommends you avoid them. The vast majority of iPhone owners have never had to worry about malware -- and if the Apple Watch employs the some tight restrictions on apps, the device will likely be free of security concerns. However, having a watch with the power of a smartphone attached to your body nearly twenty-four hours a day promises to introduce privacy questions few have ever considered.    

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