Internet Safety: Spam & Viruses

DNSChanger Virus

From May 2012, Optus will be attempting to contact customers who we believe have had their computers affected by the DNSChanger virus. If you receive such a notification from Optus, it is important that you take action to remove the virus before 9 July 2012.

What should you do?

  1. Take action before 9th July 2012. If you fail to remove the malware from your computer, you will be unable to connect directly to internet websites after this date.
  2. The best way to prevent your computer being infected is to use anti-virus software and a firewall, and keep your security programs up-to-date.

    If you are already using anti-virus software, we recommend you update your software then scan your system to detect and remove any virus you may have.

    If you don't already have anti-virus software on your computer, we strongly recommend you get one. There are many options available to choose from.

    Optus is offering a 30 day free trial of our Internet Security Suite which will remove the DNSChanger virus. When you activate the Optus Internet Security Suite, your computer will be scanned and any viruses removed. After 30 days, you can keep the internet security product for only $6.99 per month (or approximately 23 cents per day) to ensure your computer remains protected. If you do not want to keep your computer protected with Optus Internet Security Suite, you will need to cancel the service within 30 days otherwise we will automatically start billing you. For more information, check out optus.com.au/securitysuite to install.
  3. Once you have updated your anti-virus protection, visit www.dns-ok.gov.au to check if your computer is still infected with the DNSChanger virus.

    If it appears that the DNSChanger virus has not been removed, please contact your anti-virus software vendor. There are many variants of the DNSChanger virus, so they may need to provide additional assistance to remove the virus from your computer.

    If you use the Optus Internet Security Suite, please contact us.

How do we know your computer may have a virus?
Optus participates in a government scheme called the 'Australian Internet Security Initiative' whereby Optus is sent information on IP addresses believed to have some form of virus. Your IP address was on a list shown as being affected by the DNSChanger virus.

What is DNSChanger?
DNSChanger is a piece of malware (malicious software) which can change your computer's DNS (Domain Name System) settings. This can enable others to interfere with your internet experience, for example by re-directing you to fraudulent websites which allow further malware to be installed on your machine.

The DNSChanger malware needs to be removed from your computer and your DNS settings restored.

Why do I have to take action before 9 July 2012?
International law enforcement agencies have closed down a ring of cybercriminals believed to be responsible for the worldwide spread of DNSChanger, and have replaced their rogue DNS servers with a temporary but correct DNS solution. However, we have been notified by the Australian Communications and Media Authority that the replacement servers will be shut down as early as 9 July 2012. This means that unless action is taken to remove the DNSChanger malware and restore proper DNS settings before that date, customers may not be able to connect to the internet from 9 July.

For this reason, we need you to take action as soon as possible to remove the malware from your computer.

Need more information?
For more information on the DNSChanger malware, or to check if your computer is still infected, visit www.dns-ok.gov.au.

Not everyone who uses the Internet has good intentions. A few simple tools and useful information can make all the difference to keeping your computer safe.

Antivirus

A computer virus is a program or piece of code loaded onto your computer without your knowledge. It is designed to copy itself into your computer's programs and spread itself from one computer to another.

Computer viruses are usually written with malicious intent by hackers and are typically spread through email attachments, webpages, shared documents, spreadsheets, .exe files and software programs. Viruses can have negative effects on your system - even a simple virus can quickly wipe out the contents of your hard disk or crash targeted software applications.

This may all sound scary, but protecting your computer against viruses is easy. All you need to do is install antivirus software and keep it up to date. Antivirus software automatically checks all new CDs, disks, email attachments and files downloaded from the Internet. If a virus is detected, the antivirus software helps to eliminate it and repair your files.

Managing Your AntivirusSoftware

Once you have installed your antivirus software, you should immediately scan all files on all of your hard disks and memory.

You should also check the antivirus software is configured to:

  • Run every time your computer starts.
  • Run in the background.
  • Scan floppy disks.
  • Scan all download files.
  • Scan all emails and attachments.
  • Automatically check for and install updates.

Important tip:
Always check your software is being updated. Most current Antivirus programs automatically update in the background while you use the Internet. Ensure that automatic update is active and the updates come through regularly. Around 200 new viruses are detected each month, so it is extremely important to keep your antivirus software current.

Find out more about Viruses at the Optus Learning Centre.

Spam

What is spam?

"Spam" is unwanted and unsolicited junk email on the Internet that may include sexual or offensive content.

FREE Optus Email Spam Filtering - Try Optus Email's FREE Spam Filtering tool and discover other tips for protecting your email from unwanted messages.

How does the Optus Email Spam Filter work?

The Optus Email Spam Filter has been designed to protect you and your family from receiving Spam or unsolicited commercial email.

The Spam Filter will check your email as it arrives at your mailbox on the Optus mail systems. If the email is identified as looking like Spam then the email will be moved to a separate Spam Folder.

The Spam Filter uses both detailed statistical analysis and a constantly updated "blacklist" to sort out unwanted messages. It provides you with an effective way of minimising the volume of spam that you receive.

It's very simple to use. To activate or deactivate the Spam Filter you need only login to the Spam Filtering page using your Optus username and password, then agree to the terms.

When activated, email that you receive is automatically filtered to remove as much spam as possible before it gets to your Inbox.

The mail which has been filtered is placed in a Spam Folder which you will find listed with your other mail folders in Webmail. If you wish, you can view the contents of your Spam Folder and sift through the contents, to ensure that the filtering process has not moved a non-spam message there. The Spam Folder will be automatically emptied after 14 days.

More information

More information on spam, how to stop it and how to make a complaint about it.

For tips on how to protect yourself against spam and minimise your chances of receiving spam, see the Australian Communications and Media Authority website.