(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned Ohioans that if their computers are infected with a certain kind of malware, they may not be able to connect to the Internet as of July 9, 2012. Temporary servers, set up to give those with computers infected in an international "click-fraud" scheme time to repair their systems, are scheduled to be turned off on Monday.
"These servers have been running for several months but are set to shut down soon," said Attorney General DeWine. "Please check your computer to see if you were affected by this international scam."
By visiting www.DCWG.org, users can check whether their computers are infected and find additional information about what to do to fix the problem.
The problem began in 2007 with a sophisticated Internet fraud. Rove Digital, a group of foreign nationals mostly from Estonia, hijacked computers and re-routed Internet traffic to certain websites or ads, allowing the group to be paid, according to the FBI.
The scam changed the DNS -- Domain Name System, essentially a way for your computer to look up the website you want to visit -- to one different from what the user expected. For example, if your computer was infected with this malware and you clicked on a link for the Internal Revenue Service, you would have been taken to a tax company's website.
Rove Digital is reported to have earned at least $14 million by switching ads and redirecting traffic to advertisements that would give the group more money. Not only did this result in the scammers making millions, but it defrauded legitimate websites and search engines out of revenue.
Several individuals have been arrested and charged in the case, which is being handled by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti -- 614-466-3840