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Updated Apr 25, 2012 - 6:23 am

Hidden virus could cause loss of Web access in July

PHOENIX -- Last November, the FBI took down an international hacker ring that was running an ad scam online.

"This group of hackers had silently infected machines so that when you asked for directions on the Internet, instead of getting legitimate directions, you were getting rogue directions and what have you," said Ken Colburn with Data Doctors.

The FBI arrested those involved, but couldn't pull the plug on the infrastructure because millions of victims would lose their Internet access. The FBI used government computers to set up a safety net to keep the infected computers Internet going. That system will shut down on July 9.

"You're suddenly going to have no access to the Internet because you're looking for somebody that's no longer there," said Colburn of infected computers.

Colburn said there are ways to find out if you're a victim.

"You need to check what's called the DNS settings on your computer," he said. "When you click your browser to find something on the Internet, it goes and checks with a 'traffic cop', if you will. You need to make sure that you're not trying to use one of these rogue traffic cops."

For ways to test your computer, check the Data Doctors' website.

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