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You might be kicked off the internet Monday - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

You might be kicked off the internet Monday

This FBI graphic demonstrates how malware works on your computer. (Source: FBI) This FBI graphic demonstrates how malware works on your computer. (Source: FBI)

(RNN) - You could be booted off the internet on Monday. That means no Facebook, no Twitter, no Pinterest and no searching for the answer to sports trivia like who was pitching when Bobby Thomson hit "The Shot Heard ‘Round the World."

Beginning in 2007, Cyber criminals used a malware program called DNSChanger to infect 4 million computers belonging to people, business, government agencies – including NASA - in more than 100 countries. The FBI now believes that number is down to 277,000 worldwide.

The FBI conducted a two-year investigation called "Operation Ghost Click" and arrested six Estonian nationals in November 2011.

Realizing that if the malicious servers were shutdown many people would lose internet access, the FBI set up two safe servers to replace the infected ones.

Those safe servers will be shutdown at 12:01 ET Monday, July 9, cutting off internet access to thousands of people.

Many people, however, do not know their computers are infected despite warnings from the FBI, Google and Facebook.

The malware was used in a fraudulent internet advertising scheme, generating $14 million for the criminals. Infected computers were directed to click on advertising created by the criminals, who then garnered the commission from the clicks.

Infected computers also are vulnerable to other viruses and somewhat immune to antivirus programs.

To check if your computer is infected, visit www.dcwg.org. The website will walk you through the instructions on how to check your computer and disinfect it if needed.

Be sure to check your computer now because you'll have a hard time searching for pitcher who served up Thomson's famous homer in 1951 – the Brooklyn Dodgers Ralph Branca.

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