Feeds

German ISPs team up with gov agency to clean up malware

Although anti-botnet offensive panned by critics

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The German government is planning to establish a botnet cleanup helpline for computer users affected by malware infection.

ISPs are teaming up with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to set up an operation geared towards cleansing consumer systems from botnet infestation. ISPs will track down infected machines, before directing users towards a website offering advice and an associated call centre, staffed by around 40.

The project, due to start in 2010, was announced on Tuesday at the German IT summit in Stuttgart. No funding details were provided.

A statement by eco (a German Internet Industry Association), explains that the project aims to take Germany out of the top 10 countries harbouring the highest number of malware infected systems. Germany currently ranks third on this list of shame.

The overall scheme is similar to recently announced draft plans by Australian Internet Industry Association (IIA) to purge systems of botnet infections. Meanwhile, over in the US, Comcast announced a browser-based virus infection notification service back in October. The service is linked to a security portal offering security software from McAfee and others at no extra charge to customers of Comcast's broadband services.

Malware in general, and botnets in particular, are a Windows ecosystem problem. Some bloggers have taken exception to the German plan, and have described it as a state funded subsidy to Microsoft, arguing that the money would be better spent offering advice on how to switch to less virus-infected systems. Such a change (desirable or not) is hardly likely to happen overnight and anything that improves internet hygiene in the meantime is welcome.

The success of the German scheme is likely to be closely monitored by ISPs across the world. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.