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Remove DNS Changer Malware (Improved Guide) - updated Jan 2017

removal by Julie Splinters - -   Also known as DNSChanger | Type: Trojans

DNS Changer trojan is an infection that is used to redirect users to fraudulent domains, change user’s search results and serve compromised ads. This is done by altering PC’s DNS addresses to Rove Digital domain name server. As soon as you get infected with DNS changer malware, criminal gets ability to connect you to fraudulent websites or to interfere with your browsing activities. Besides, you may also get infected with other malware as well. This problem was noticed and seemingly stopped in November, 2011, when FBI shut down[1] DNSChanger’s servers, taking away access to the Internet from those with affected computers. The scammers are reported to earn millions of dollars from their affiliates.

Modus operandi of DNS Changer malware:

More than one million of computers reportedly have been infected by DNS Changer malware[2]. The most popular way to infect victims with this trojan is to push fake video codecs and fake flash updates. Though FBI locked down a group of hackers who should be blamed for spreading this malware in November, 2011[3], note that these means might be used by hackers in the future. 

The most important thing about DNS Changer malware is that July 9, 2012 was the last day when FBI was helping users infected with DNS Changer Malware to connect to the FBI’s temporary servers to access the Internet and, if you were unknowingly infected with this trojan, you probably have temporarily lost your Internet connection[4]. If you have been infected with this trojan without realizing it, you won’t be capable to reach or find anything on the web because you will be redirected to servers that are dead.

DNSChanger malware - are you infected?

Updated on January 5, 2017: DNSChanger virus is making rounds on the Internet again

DNSChanger trojan is back, and this time it spreads via malware-laden ads. It appears that DNSChanger is being spread via corrupted banner ads that contain malicious code, and clicking on these ads reroutes the victim to a website that hosts DNSChanger exploit kit[5]. This technique reminds us of Stegano exploit kit, which is also currently infecting users who are unaware of malware-laden ads. Then the exploit kit checks if the victim has any unsecured routers (those with weak passwords or outdated firmware) and infects them immediately. As soon as the router gets compromised, the malware configures router’s settings to use malicious DNS servers instead of real ones. Reportedly, currently there are over 166 router models vulnerable to this malware. Below, you can find a list of known router models that are vulnerable to this attack:

  • NetGear WNDR3400v3 (also, possibly other models);
  • Netgear R6200;
  • Pirelli ADSL2/2+ Wireless Router P.DGA4001N;
  • D-Link DSL-2740R;
  • COMTREND ADSL Router CT-5367 C01_R12.

We strongly recommend you to secure your router by giving it a strong password. Also, check if your router is running the latest firmware version, and disable remote administration.

How to remove DNS Changer Malware:

First of all, you should check whether you are have been infected with DNS Changer Malware by visiting this page.

In addition, restore DNS settings to default:

For Windows XP:

1. Go ‘Start’ > ‘Control Panel’ > ‘Network Connections’ and select your local network.

2. Right-click ‘Properties’, choose ‘Internet Protocol’ (TCP/IP).Right-click, choose ‘Properties’ again.

3. Click ‘Properties’ and choose ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’, ‘OK’.

For Windows 7:

1. Go ‘Control Panel’, click ‘Network and Internet’, then ‘Network and Sharing Center’, and click ‘Change adapter settings’.

2. Right-click ‘Local Area Connection’, then ‘Properties’.

3. Choose ‘Networking’ tab, ‘Internet Protocol Version 4’ (TCP/IPv4) or ‘Internet Protocol Version 6’ (TCP/IPv6) and click ‘Properties’.

4. Choose ‘Advanced’ and select ‘DNS’ tab, ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’, OK.

Finally, note that DNS Cnager Malware goes together with nasty viruses, such as Trojan.Fakealert or Trojan.Generic, or is capable to block anti-virus software and hide the security updates. That’s why we highly recommend running a full system scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner anti-malware programs.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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