WASHINGTON (AP) - Internet users scanning their Twitter feeds or Facebook accounts today might want to add one more quick click to check their computer for malware.
Thousands of people around the country whose computers were infected with malicious software more than a year ago faced the possibility of not being able to get online after midnight.
At 12:01 a.m. Monday, the FBI planned to shut down the Internet servers set up as a temporary safety net to keep infected computers online for the past eight months. The court order the agency obtained to keep the servers running expired, and it was not renewed.
The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.