Tag Archives: botnet

Should an ISP Cut Off Infected Users?

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Damn these compromised systems. They’re ruining it for the rest of us. Someone on Lockergnome asked if ISPs should cut off bot-infected users. This refers to people who have computers that happen to be infected with software that can potentially turn their machine into a “zombie computer.” This allows someone to use the infected system as part of a bot net – or DDOS attack.

Why shouldn’t an ISP cut them off? That’s my thought. If an ISP can see that a machine is being used – and abused – in this manner, it’s their duty to keep others protected. Perhaps the user doesn’t even KNOW that their machine has been compromised in this manner. You can be infected with some pretty nasty malware without ever having any pop-ups or symptoms, and without knowing it.

Your ISP should be able to turn you off, and then contact you to let you know there’s an issue. The ISP could go so far as to suggest ways and/or tools to help the user get all cleaned up. Imagine if the ISP took that step to help their customer – we could all have better Internet. That may be a pretty lofty dream, but I think it’s a good one.
Bonus points for remixing the zombie disruption found in this video!

Is Your Computer Part of a Botnet in the US?

During the first half of 2010, more than two million computers in the United States alone were found to be part of a botnet. Microsoft performed the research, which showed that Brazil had the second highest level of infections at 550,000. The country hit hardest is South Korea, where 14.6 out of every 1000 machines were found to be enrolled in botnets.

Cliff Evans is the head of security and identity in the UK. “Most people have this idea of a virus and how it used to announce itself,” he said. “Few people know about botnets.” Botnets start when a virus infects a computer, either through spam or an infected web page. The virus puts the Windows machine under the control of a botnet herder. “Once they have control of the machine they have the potential to put any kind of malicious code on there,” said Mr Evans. “It becomes a distributed computing resource they then sell on to others.”

The stats for the report were gathered from more than 600 million machines which are enrolled in Microsoft’s various update services or use its Essentials and Defender security packages. The conclusions of the report show that people need to be much more vigilant. You have to keep yourself well protected against threats of any kind. Even though they’re a pain, you need to apply your Windows updates when they become available, keep programs updated (such as Java) and make sure that you understand security basics.

Seattle Geek Play Opening Soon

When I Come To My Senses, I’m Alive! from Stephen McCandless on Vimeo.

Scotto Moore has written a very Geeky play which will open at the Seattle Annex Theatre on April 23rd. The show will begin at 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights, running through May 22nd.

The play, “When I Come To My Senses, I’m Alive,” tells the story of a technological provocateur, Annique, who invents a method for capturing emotions as digital information, as part of a project to “chart the emotional genome.” She develops a cult following of fans who download her very addictive “emoticlips” and play them back in hobby-built receiver helmets.

The experience is not full blown virtual reality. Emotional responses and sensations are triggered, and each fan experiences something unique. In fact, her fans string together complex playlists of Annique’s “emoticlips” to generate emotional experiences that become quite deeper and more intense than Annique originally experienced herself.

A seedy television executive tries to coopt her technology to syndicate the emotions of TV stars, hiring an elite P.I. to figure out what Annique’s weaknesses are when she refuses to sell out. In the meantime, publishing digital versions of Annique’s emotions to the Internet has unexpected consequences amongst the botnets of the world.

I am so definitely attending this show. Who’s with me?

Top-Rated Firewall Back by Request

Some people who spend many hours online fighting malware requested that this top-rated firewall be brought back, as an offer for our readers. It was formerly known as the Kerio Personal Firewall. Now, it is called the Sunbelt Personal Firewall.

This firewall was discussed previously. Not all firewalls are the same. They differ in efficiency. The Sunbelt Personal Firewall blocks unwanted traffic that is incoming but it also monitors what leaves from your machine. That cannot be stressed enough.

Let’s say that for some reason a malware does infect your machine. If that malware starts sending out information from your machine, you want to know that. For example, what is sent out may be your personal information. Furthermore, it may be that your computer is now part of a bot spamming operation. A good firewall, which monitors the outgoing traffic, will give you an additional chance at catching some infection that has occurred on your machine.

This offers expires on May 20, 2009. The Sunbelt Personal Firewall is really a gift at ten dollars. Yes, it is only ten dollars when you use this link and the coupon code SPFLOCKERGNOME when you place your order.

There is one further note from the people who deal with malware, like our very own resident Malware-removal Expert Kat. It is a bit of a shock – but there are still people who do not use a firewall. That may be hard to believe but when these malware fighters inspect logs of what people have on their machines, there isn’t a firewall. At this price, the Sunbelt Personal Firewall is more than affordable protection. Look on your email contact list and see if there is a family member or some newbie who might be just learning about computers. Ask them if they use a firewall. And don’t be surprised if they ask you… “what is that?”. – Then just buy this for them. You’ll be glad you did.