You’re reading this, so it’s safe to say the Internet did not, in fact, shut down today, like it had been predicted to on various news sites over the past week.
Just like back in high school, all salacious rumors, in this case, Internet Doomsday, have only a small grain of truth to them. The actual story, helpfully summarized by Time, is:
“In 2007, cyberthieves created malware, dubbed DNSChanger, that manipulated the way Internet ads appeared in infected computer browsers, allowing the cybercrooks to rack up millions in illicit fees.
The malware depended on a basic Internet principle called DNS (Domain Name System), which is how Internet routers know where to send your Internet requests — that is, how to translate a URL like http://www.time.com into a numeric IP address when you type it into your browser’s address bar.
Computers infected by DNSChanger had their local DNS information changed and were redirected to fraudulent servers that delivered Web-based ads that eventually channeled millions of dollars to the malware authors.” READ FULL STORY »