I feel a rant coming on. It’s almost here… and… . . . . .
Computerworld asks the burning question: should ISPs cut off bot-infected users? Oh, absolutely! Without question. Why aren’t they already doing this? Judging by the vast number of bot-infected PCs out there, it’s obvious that most people either don’t give a shit or are too stupid/lazy to take an interest in the matter. It blows my mind how many people are still ignorant about something that can lead to identity theft, drained bank accounts, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Why don’t they leave their houses unlocked and leave the keys in their cars while they’re at it? You know, just to be consistent.
Maybe we should put it this way: would you have unprotected sex with a prostitute who has open, runny sores and crabs carpeting his/her nether regions? I certainly hope not. (It’s not a perfect analogy but you get the idea.) If you wouldn’t do that, then why wouldn’t you learn about safe surfing and email habits, which would prevent you from getting your PC infected? What’s so hard about running one of the many free checkup tools now and then to rid your PC of bots and other nasties? Answer: there’s nothing hard about it. You just don’t care. Either that, or you’re a complete and utter moron…take your pick.
Many like to use the excuse “But I didn’t know this could happen.” Bullshit! Unless you’re either completely illiterate or have managed to avoid reading newspapers, magazines, watching T.V. over the past 15 years, you’d know that bots and other spyware is a BIG DEAL. You don’t have to be an expert to be aware of this stuff, folks. The other excuse is, “I’m not a super nerd, I don’t know how to do that high-tech stuff!” Well, then…maybe you should learn. It’s really not that difficult. They have this crazy thing now called Google, it can teach you all sorts of stuff. You should really check it out. Hell, Microsoft even provides FREE VIRUS AND MALWARE PROTECTION. All you have to do is turn it on! But no, you’re going to pay some Geek Squad loser at Best Buy $100 to clean your PC every six months when it slows to a crawl from all the bugs infesting your data. Really, there’s no excuse for being ignorant of this stuff these days.
Of course accidental infections can happen even to the best-protected users, but if so many PCs are constantly infected, it’s obvious that they’re either running unattended (maybe at schools) or they’re owned by people who are completely ignorant of the problem — and I’m betting the latter is the majority. Anyway, if you can’t be bothered to learn how to protect yourself from spyware, then maybe you don’t deserve to be online at all because you’re putting the rest of us at risk. Be a responsible user or stay off the goddamn internet. If you can’t even do that, I think your ISP should be able to cut you off until you figure it out.
Botnets are a major source of spam, denial-of-service attacks, and other net nasties. For several years, I and others have advocated a more aggressive approach to fighting botnets.
While ISPs can’t prevent users getting infected with bots, they are in a superb position to detect the signs of infection. Once an ISP has detected that a user is infected, they can ensure that the problem gets fixed — remediated, as we jargonistas love to say.
The idea is that ISPs could detect signs — say, by intercepting outbound spam, or botnet command-and-control traffic — and cut the infected customer off from the internet. The user would be placed in a walled garden, where a web browser would only be able to see certain pages, which give instructions on how to fix the problem.
Contractually, the ISP would be reasonably justified in cutting off a user from the internet, as bot infection would be contrary to the terms of the ISP’s acceptable-use policy.
P.S.: Any comments telling people to “just get a Mac” will be deleted.
P.P.S.: Just kidding! But seriously…enough of that shit.