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Is your computer safe from Malware Monday?

Computers could have been infected more than a year ago

Malware Monday is as malicious as it sounds, and it could knock thousands of Americans off the Internet today. Despite multiple warnings about Malware Monday, if Americans don’t do a check for malware that could have taken over machines more than a year ago, they may lose Internet access.

Warnings have been sent across Facebook and Google while Internet service providers have sent notices. The FBI has also set up a special website in response.

According to the FBI, approximately 277,000 computers worldwide are most likely infected. About 64,000 infected computers are said to be in the United States.

Those with computers still infected on Malware Monday will lose the ability to go online and will have to call their service providers for steps on deleting the malware and reconnecting to the Internet.

The problem of Malware Monday first originated when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to infect more than 570,000 computers. FBI agents tried to take down the hackers, but if they took over the malicious servers, all victims would lose Internet connection.

Instead, the FBI set up a temporary server to control the hackers; still, this temporary Internet system was shut down at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, thus sparking the name Malware Monday.

Most victims of Malware Monday are unaware that their computers are infected, although slower Internet surfing is a warning sign.

Both Facebook and Google are trying to combat Malware Monday by creating their own warning messages that shows up if someone using either site appeared to have an infected computer. Facebook users that are susceptible to Malware Monday receive a message saying, “Your computer or network might be infected,” along with a link that users can click for more information.

Google users also receive a similar message.

To check whether a computer is infected, users can visit a website run by the group brought in by the FBI: http://www.dcwg.org .

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