Photo: By theogeo on Flickr
Millions of PCs on the Internet are infected with a zombie virus, security experts say.Today the FCC officially asked ISPs to adopt a list of cyber-security practices to start knocking these things out.
Zombies, also called bots, are PCs infected with malware that let remote users secretly control them. Lots of bots make up a botnet. With a big enough botnet, cyber crooks can do a lot of harm including sending spam, conducting click fraud, eavesdropping on network traffic, and stealing passwords.
So the FCC joined with an organisation called The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) to develop a U.S. Anti-Bot Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). It goes by the cute acronym of ABCs for ISPs.
The FCC is asking ISPs to voluntarily adopt the ABCs. This means that ISPs promise to be on the prowl for zombies. ISPs promise to tell their customers when their PCs are acting like bots. The OTA is asking ISPs to report botnet activity to it, too.
A lot of big-name companies participated in drafting the anti-bot code of conduct over the past year including PayPal, Microsoft, Symantec, and ISPs like Comcast and CenturyLink.
Many OTA members have already adopted the Anti-Bot code. The OTA says that by doing so, 23 million U.S. households with broadband Internet are protected. But that’s only about one-third of them. There are still a whole lot of zombies left to kill.