If you have "no place to go," come here!

Call me foily...

... but I can think of one very bad outcome here:

For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner, , that will inform them whether they're infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won't be able to connect to the Internet.

Most victims don't even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

And that outcome would be....

The FBI installing its own spyware on your machine -- Google calls it a "toolbar" -- and running its own botnet, for example. The possibilities are limitless!

Not, as I say, that I'm foily.

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Submitted by Lex on

"The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get 'page not found' and think the Internet is broken."

Whoa, there are people who use Internet Explorer?

I do like the FBI's solution to visit their site, let them root around in your computer (waive your 5th Amendment rights in the process), and then ....

You're not foily. Install Ghostery and see how closely you're tracked by everyone, everywhere you go. If you use Facebook it's worse (or anyone has ever used Facebook on your computer). Google's new privacy policy is expressly established to create a complete profile of you, and they have the nerve to pester Gmail users for their phone number too.

And for some reason, the NSA won't reply to the FOIA request concerning its relationship with Google. more, the USG just upped the time period for storing data of people with no connection to terrorism from 18 months to 5 years. Oh hell, why not include the move by a lot of websites to require logins linked to Facebook, Google or Twitter, three companies with a wonderful track recorded of working with the government and collecting data.

Submitted by cg.eye on

since this problem would be most easily solved through O/S updates (which many users allow Microsoft Windows to download and install automatically), why would none of us hear about this until close to the deadline?

How do we know the site itself isn't a botnet portal?

Why haven't there been any talk of this through the other channels that amplify computer virus alerts -- Norton, Wired, Boing Boing? I haven't heard of this near mandatory requirement, and even if I'm that much of a geek, I should have heard about this before now.

As for the anti-viral disabling, wouldn't NAV and McAfee be shouting this from the rooftops, and provide their own links to the DCWG site? This takes money out of their pockets, when their clients can't get their products to work.

In short, this stinks to high heaven.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

They direct you to commercial sites where a tool is available to check if you are infected. If you don't want to use a tool, the manual inspection process is provided. I used the manual process and saw I'm not at risk. So I'm not sure what would be recommended if I were. But overall, it didn't seem creepy or big-brotherish.