Feeds

Zombie PCs must die!

Comcast performs radical surgery on clueless users

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Comcast, the US cable giant, is threatening to disconnect customers whose infected PCs are being used to relay spam messages.

Up to 30 per cent of spam is now spewing from hijacked "zombie" PCs. Spammers use Trojan horses and worms to take over PCs and use them as spam engines, a practice that can severely disrupt the operation of ISPs.

Recently, many Comcast customer IP addresses were recently blacklisted because of these spam-spewing zombies. The cableco has sent letters, warning customers who have been found with spam-sending PCs that they risk disconnection unless they clean up their act.

Comcast is adopting a line pioneered by Scandinavian ISP TeliaSonera. Last November, TeliaSonera said it would block Internet traffic to and from computers that send junk email or spam.

If other ISPs follow suit, this approach could make a big difference in cutting down on the crap flowing across the Net. Of course, ISPs should take care to correctly identify infected users and if they have any customer service ethos, offer assistance in cleaning up the PCs.

Comcast could have acted earlier to prevent itself becoming a major spam conduit, of course. Some of Comcast's other attempts to block spam have hit snags. A misapplied spam filter inadvertently stopped Comcast broadband punters from sending email to Russia for several days earlier this month, AP reports. ®

Related stories

Telia blocks spam-sending Zombie PCs
Attack of the Profit-Killer Worms
UUNet tops spammer-hosting super league
Cable ISP (Comcast) kneecaps heavy users
Comcast largest cable firm after AT&T buy

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Know what Ferguson city needs right now? It's not Anonymous doxing random people
U-turn on vow to identify killer cop after fingering wrong bloke
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.