To hear the media hype over today's consequences of the DNS Changer malware attack, you'd think it was Y2K Part 2.
As of this writing at 10 A.M. Monday morning, it's trending #1 for national headlines.
Here's the irony--they are reading a story about malware that would have already knocked them off the internet if they were infected.
So rest easy. First, if you are reading this, you are not infected. Second, your chance of getting hit by lightening is only a little worse than getting knocked off the internet because of this Mal-scare.
Yes, between 45,000 and 60,000 computers may still carry the bug and could find it difficult to access the internet today.
The DNS attack planted a bug in your directory designed to drive you to bogus servers set up by con artists looking to rip-off unsuspecting computer users.
When the bad guys were busted by the FBI, the feds tried to soften the impact by putting their own servers on-line, to capture and harmlessly re-direct any infected user.
It was expensive, but reduced the risk of victims, and the inconvenience caused by the remaining malware.
The FBI is taking down its beneficial servers today--meaning infected computers seeking out the bogus servers may find no on-ramp to the cyber highway.
Some large Internet Service Providers like Comcast are anticipating the fallout and putting their own band-aid in place for affected users.
But calling it the "Doomsday" virus is the kind of overhype normally reserved for a Kim Kardashian's wedding or Tom Cruise divorce.
Look at the problem by the numbers.
There are 339 Million personal computers in U.S. use today. Assuming ALL of the 45,000 possibly infected machines are hit... that is less than 13/100ths of 1% of the computers in use.
Apply the more realistic assumption that only a fraction of those are actually affected, and not remedied by their service provider and the risk is sliced thinner than Lebron James' humility.
In other words, this is a headline we could run every day, about any given virus.
The only difference: the FBI provided us with a deadline for this one and virus stories drive big numbers on news websites.
In the unlikely event you are reading this from your mobile phone because your computer has no connectivity, there are steps to take to remedy the outage.
You may need to re-install your operating system, so backup key files.
Then, you'll need to scan your system.
For a list of anti-virus tools capable of purging DNS, go to http://www.dcwg.org/fix/
Hopefully, you already have one of these basic tools on your computer.
If you don't, contact your Internet Service Provider for help.
And stay away from thunderstorms.