Feeds

German ISPs team up with gov agency to clean up malware

Although anti-botnet offensive panned by critics

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.