Malware Monday Left Thousands Without Internet Access
If you didn't already act, it's too late now.
Today is malware Monday. What this means is that the government took down a safety net that had been allowing infected users to access the Internet.
Thousands of users had been infected with the malware last year which allowed hackers to control infected computers through infected servers. The FBI was made aware of the problem and thought about shutting down the infected servers. But if they took these steps, the infected individuals would be left with no way to access the Internet immediately. So the government set up a safety net instead.
In an extraordinary act, the government set up a system of clean servers so that those infected could continue to access the Internet while being given time to solve their malware problem. The government gave infected individuals notice that their computers were infected as well as giving the users links on how to solve the problem. Infected users had eight months to clean their computers.
After much notice, the government finally pulled the plug on the clean servers this Monday. Now those infected users who failed to address the problem (or distrusted the government even more than the hackers) are unable to access the Internet.
So what legal recourse do infected individuals have? Sadly, probably very little. It's unclear who is responsible for the malware, and without a party to sue, infected individuals would be unable to recover damages. The government also would likely not be liable as they actually took steps to help infected users by setting up the clean servers.
Malware Monday is upon us. It's not yet certain how many individuals infected with the malware failed to take steps to resolve the problem. Unfortunately for these individuals, they're probably without both the Internet and legal recourse.
- Malware Monday: About 47,000 Americans Affected by Internet Threat (FoxNews)
- What do I do if my computer has become infected? (FindLaw)
- Symantec Lawsuit: Fake Scans Scare Consumers Into Buying Anti-Virus Software (FindLaw's Common Law)
- Ninth Circuit Grants Anti-Spyware Providers Safe Harbor Under Section 230 (FindLaw's Technologist)