Government moves to stem growing tide of botnets

Australia to disconnect ?zombie? computers

The Australian Government is preparing a voluntary industry code for ISPs to try and aid in the identification and disconnection of ‘zombie’ PCs, according to The Australian.

The term ‘zombie’ refers to a computer that has been compromised with malware, and now operates as a part of a wider botnet – used as a platform for DDoS attacks, spamming or storing illegal content.

With the assistance of the Internet Industry Association, the Government will create a voluntary industry code of conduct in an attempt to combat the spread of malware, following revelations that Australia now hosts the world’s third largest number of zombie computers.

The scheme proposes slowing down the connections of infected machines, or changing passwords, so that the user is forced to contact their ISP. The user may then be provided with a timeframe to take remedial action, or face disconnection from the internet – although the Australian authorities are keen to stress that disconnection would be a last resort.

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