Malware deadline passes, very few knocked offline

By Lolita C. Baldor and Barbara Ortutay

Associated Press

Published: Monday, July 9 2012 9:37 p.m. MDT

WASHINGTON — If you're reading this online, you're fine. The day that was supposed to see thousands of people knocked off the Internet has arrived, but only a few people were affected.

Thousands of Internet users across the U.S. and beyond waited too long or simply didn't believe warnings that they would lose access to the Internet just after midnight because of malware that took over computers around the world more than a year ago.

At 12:01 a.m. on Monday, the FBI turned off Internet servers that were functioning as a temporary safety net to keep infected computers online for the past eight months. A court order the agency had gotten to keep the servers running expired, and was not renewed.

FBI officials have been tracking the number of computers they believe still may be infected by the malware. As of Sunday night, there were about 41,800 in the U.S., down from 45,600 on July 4. Worldwide, the total is roughly 211,000 infected.

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who co-founded the cybersecurity caucus in Congress, said computer users have a responsibility to practice good hygiene and make sure their computers have not been infected or hijacked by criminals.

"These types of issues are only going to increase as our society relies more and more on the Internet, so it is a reminder that everyone can do their part," he said.

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