Zombie Generation: The spreading infection

ZDNet Australia logo: click for the Zombie Generation article

“If you had to identify the biggest single issue confronting the security and safety and the confidence of the internet these days, particularly in the commercial space, you could only point to zombie botnets as the major concern,” says Peter Coroneos, chief executive of the Internet Industry Association (IIA).

On Wednesday, ZDNet.com.au published my feature story Zombie Generation: The spreading infection, which kicks off with a backgrounder on zombie botnets and then some worrying trends.

  • The malware used to create botnets is getting more sophisticated. Traditional stay-safe-online messages are no longer adequate — if they ever were.
  • Young people’s eagerness to share cool new things amongst their peers is natural human behaviour, but it runs counter to the “don’t share” messages.
  • It’s easy for kids to break out of the security restrictions of the laptops supplied under the Australian Government’s Digital Education Revolution program — something we also spoke about on Patch Monday.

Australian ISPs are now developing a more formal code of practice to detect and deal with their customers’ zombie computers.

I also posted a lengthy rebuttal to some fool trying to over-simplify this as “a Microsoft problem”.

One Reply to “Zombie Generation: The spreading infection”

  1. I think you can take the virus definition further. There are the same issues in other industries and I think that the computer industry should look outside. In medicine all of these issues arise. Do you allow an infected individual to roam the streets. The answer is no if the risk is very serious, that is people will die. Bit otherwise you warn people the be careful and seek treatment.

    Also I think the whole idea of filtering is back to front. Why doesn’t a ISP filter the traffic coming out of its user base when that traffic is known to be, say spam? I know that the clever spammer will hide it to make it look legitimate, but it should be part of the tool of solutions. It will work in some cases.

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