DNSChanger impact less than expected in Australia

Internet service providers report few calls from customers

Australia has been spared the brunt of the DNSChanger malware internet blackout, according to reports from major internet service providers (ISPs).

The temporary DNS solution operated by the Internet Systems Consortium was switched off at 2pm on 9 July 2012 (AEST). As a consequence, DNSChanger was expected to cause an internet black out for many consumers around the world including approximately 6500 users in Australia.

However, the major ISPS did not experience a peak in call centre enquiries.

iiNet chief technical officer, John Lindsay, told Computerworld Australia that only 200 iiNet customers were still affected by DNSChanger at the start of the week. “We’re not seeing any ongoing attempts to connect to it so it was a big non-issue. We’ve been informing customers about DNSChanger since the beginning of the year,” he said.

An Optus spokeswoman said the company did not experience any peaks in customer enquiries to its call centre.

Telstra established a temporary network solution that redirected infected customers away from the DNSChanger servers to Telstra’s BigPond domain name system (DNS) servers so that customers could still browse the internet.

A Telstra spokeswoman said in a statement that approximately 1600 unique customers were redirected.

“We expect that the number will only slowly increase from here. In the last 24 hours since 9 July, the number of redirects increased by only 100,” she said.

“We have not yet determined an end date for the redirection and we will continue to assess the need based on the number of customers affected.”

According to an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) spokesperson, if a Telstra customer visits the DNSChanger Diagnostic website, the site will continue to perform an automatic diagnosis to test whether or not they are infected by DNSChanger.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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