On July 9, hundreds of thousands of computers were expected not to work at midnight due to a malicious software planted into an estimated 4 million computers worldwide. The virtual invasion was expected to be a turning point in internet enforcement for those who have earned a cyber crime degree or an online cyber crime degree.
The software affected millions of computers initially, but last year the FBI’s Operation Ghost Click stopped the hacker group and six Estonians and one Russian were indicted for involvement in the plan. Officials were able to clean computers of the malicious software, but the issue was expected to arise once again after a server that kept machines “clean” began shutting down at midnight.
Malware was left on computers but the FBI ordered a nonprofit organization, Internet Systems Consortium, which supports part of the internet infrastructure, to keep machines clean. The servers working to achieve that stopped running at 12:01 a.m., which left it up to internet providers to keep computers clean of the software.
The software, DNS Charger, was found in 2005 and started the trend of malicious software getting in the way of how internet servers find websites. The malware replicates websites that users go to, but allows the hackers to sell advertising for the fake sites. According to the Desert News, FBI estimated that hackers made $14 million in profit from the attacks.
"We will operate legitimate domain-name servers through the end of the year, and that will give the very, very small number of customers whose computers may be affected time to remove it from their computer and avoid any service interruption," Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T told The Wall Street Journal. "They will not be cut off."
The internet provider made sure affected computers were able to access the internet by redirecting users.