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Published July 07, 2012, 04:28 PM

Computer Virus Could Cripple Thousands On Monday

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Thousands of Americans may lose internet connection this Monday in connection to a virus you might not even know you have.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Thousands of Americans may lose internet connection this Monday in connection to a virus you might not even know you have.

That's the day the FBI will pull the plug on the Domain Name System servers that have been running as a band-aid for people who were affected by this virus.

The FBI has estimated that roughly 50,000 computers are infected nationwide. And if your computer is one of them, you won't be able to access the internet on Monday.

"It would not be good, I'd probably panic," said Ashley Makowski, an avid internet user.

"I'd pretty much be dead then," said Scott Piper, who uses the internet to work.

"Losing internet would not affect me at all," said one who doesn't own a computer.

A group of hackers created a piece of malware called a DNS Changer that tarnished the Domain Name System.

"The DNS changer basically all it does is point your computer at a road server that's sitting out there and it's funneling everything through that server," said Raptor PC's Owner John Sistad.

In layman terms - an internet user would click on one site and be directed to a completely different site.

"It's actually part of the boot record so it actually launches before your computer gets into windows," said Sistad.

It's not just PC's that are infected. Mac's can have the virus, too. This Monday, the FBI is removing the temporary servers it put in place to give those infected time to fix their computers.

There's a simple way to find out if you're one of the 50,000 with the problem by going to the DNS-ok.us website. It will show up green - meaning you're in the clear or red - meaning you're infected. Computer shops say it's under 100 dollars to fix.

"There's literally hundreds of new viruses that come out every month--it's just like wildfire," said Sistad.

And this is just one that could really define a 'manic' Monday.

"I use it for my school work, I use it to look up common day stuff, I use it for Facebook obviously (laughs)," said Makowski.

"If I couldn't be connected, I couldn't do anything basically," said Piper.

Google and Facebook have also set up notifications to let users know if they're infected.

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