DNS-Changer – how to test your computer

There appears to have been an increase in attacks on private computers in recent weeks, and in some cases even a good virus scanner has not been able to block them.  Yesterday we learnt about a new threat called “DNS-Changer”.  This is what you need to know:

DNS is short for “Domain Name System” and is like a telephone directory for the internet.  When you visit a website, the address of that site is turned into the numeric address – the IP address – by a DNS server.  Your computer then uses the number to contact the site.  Cymeradwyo, for example, runs on IP address

The DNS servers for computers in private households are usually run by the internet providers such as T-Online.

But what would happen if instead of asking your internet provider for the IP address, your computer asked a different DNS server?  If this server gave and incorrect answer, the computer would pull up the wrong page.  Now if that page look different to the one you were expecting, then you would notice.  But what if it looks identical?

[Read more…]


DNS stands for two different things:

Domain Name System – not exactly German, but the abbreviation is used all the same.  The Domain Name System is effectively the address book of the internet.  It is the system that converts addresses such as www.germanwordsexplained.com into their equivalent IP addresses, eg.

Desoxyribonukleinsäure – known in English as DNA.  The English abbreviation is now more commonly used in German, especially in texts that have been translated.  The older form can often be heard in films that were dubbed in the 1980s or at the beginning of the 1990s.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

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