Having trouble getting online? Ask your provider

July 9, 2012 by LOLITA C. BALDOR
Norton's Internet Security 2012 software for computer security on display at Best Buy in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, July 6, 2012. Despite repeated alerts, tens of thousands of Americans may lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago. The warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across Facebook and Google. Internet service providers have sent notices, and the FBI set up a special website. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(AP) — Having trouble connecting to the Internet? You may be one of thousands whose Internet shut down just after midnight because of malware that took over computers around the world more than a year ago.

The FBI went in late last year to take down the hackers' . But they realized that if they turned off the malicious servers, all the victims would lose Internet access.

So the FBI created a safety net, using two clean Internet servers, to keep infected users online — temporarily. They also created a website with fixes for the problem.

But just after midnight, the FBI turned off the safety net.

Now, if you can't read this online, your Internet service provider's customer support desk may be your only solution.

Explore further: Huge 'botnet' amputated, but criminals reconnect

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