What if a Trojan horse automatically redirected all of our Internet addresses to rogue sites? It already happened in 4 million computers worldwide and is continuing.

You’ll be shocked, you’ll be awed, hopefully you’ll be underwhelmed.

What if a Trojan horse automatically redirected all of our Internet addresses to rogue sites? It already happened in 4 million computers worldwide and is continuing.

On July 9, the FBI will order a shutdown of all Domain Name Servers in the United States that are infected with the DNSChanger Trojan Horse. Providers must re-deploy clean servers while they thoroughly clean the DNSChanger from their systems.

And before that, the feds encourage all computer users to check their personal systems for the Trojan. That’s easily done. Go to: http://www.dns-ok.us/.

If the graphic background is green, you’re clean. If red, you have the Trojan.

This bad boy is a rootkit virus, the most difficult to remove. Older virus scanners may not work with it. The fix is not fun: Reformat your hard drive, destroying all of your data. You may want to consult a computer repair professional if it gets to that point.

Nothing like this has ever happened. It was exposed with an FBI sting, Operation Ghost Click. Six Estonians are charged with running an Internet fraud ring that netted them $14 million from advertisers over two years.

They allegedly created a Trojan that redirects systems to fake Internet sites via the DNS (Domain Name System).

You don’t realize it, but all Internet addresses are a series of numbers. When you type a name, such as google.com, the DNS automatically converts the address from letters to numbers and sends you to the site.

The DNSChanger interrupts this, sending you to fake sites. These sites then build up huge numbers of viewer hits that enabled the perps to sell advertising at high rates.

The most famous switch was the Apple iTunes site. DNSChanger compromised millions of users by sending them to a fake site purporting to sell Apple software. And yes, Apples can get the Trojan horse.

Officials say the Monday, July 9 shutdown won’t affect Internet service. Other, temporary servers will take over. If your computer is still infected, it will not work on all Internet sites. This should be interesting.

According to the FBI, about a half million U.S. computers still have the Trojan (we have more than 170 million computers). The number is more than 4 million worldwide.

Contact Jim Hillibish at jim.hillibish@cantonrep.com.