In the wake of a recent revelation by security firm Deteque that nearly about 245,000 computers across the globe - around 45,355 in the US alone - are still infected by last-year-detected Alureon malware, there are apprehensions galore that the users of the affected systems could be at risk of losing Internet access on Monday.
Alerts about a possible outage have been sounded to tens of thousands of people in the US via Facebook and Google, and it is being advised that they carry out a quick check of the computers to detect the malicious software which was at the core of a hacking scam that was shut down by the US authorities in November last year.
The potential risk of an Internet outage has been hyped to such an extent by some blogs and news reports that the Alureon malware has been described as the "Internet Doomsday" virus; and people have been warned of a possible "blackout" of the Internet.
While Internet service providers (ISPs) have sent notices to users - and the FBI has also set up a special website - about the possible Internet problem, experts opine that just a small fraction of computer users were at risk, and that ISPs would be on hand to quickly restore service in case of an outage.
In fact, in the opinion of experts, the Alureon threat is seemingly smaller than the one linked the more prevalent Zeus and SpyEye viruses, which infect millions of PCs and are largely used for committing financial fraud.