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Microsoft Calls on Broadband ISPs to Ban Malware Infected PCs from the Internet

Posted: 08th Oct, 2010 By: MarkJ
microsoft windows live disconnected internetMicrosoft has called for broadband ISPs around the world to adopt a new approach to addressing botnets and other malware impacting consumer machines. The software giant suggests that such computers, which are ironically most likely to be running Microsoft Windows, should have their internet access restricted until such time as the infection can be cured [INSERT Pun about adopting Mac OS or Linux].

Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing, Scott Charney, said:

"Just as when an individual who is not vaccinated puts others’ health at risk, computers that are not protected or have been compromised with a bot put others at risk and pose a greater threat to society. In the physical world, international, national, and local health organizations identify, track and control the spread of disease which can include, where necessary, quarantining people to avoid the infection of others.

Simply put, we need to improve and maintain the health of consumer devices connected to the Internet in order to avoid greater societal risk. To realize this vision, there are steps that can be taken by governments, the IT industry, Internet access providers, users and others to evaluate the health of consumer devices before granting them unfettered access to the Internet or other critical resources."

This method would also involve establishing a kind of Global Collective Defence (GCD) of Internet health, which sounds like something right out of a really bad sci-fi movie and is apparently much like what we see in place today in the world of public health.

It's not the first time that Microsoft has mooted the idea of disconnecting infected PC's from the internet. Indeed several ISPs, such as Virgin Media UK, have in the past been known to restrict customer connections when serious cases of SPAM or malware have become known to them.

Sadly identifying when this happens with a customer's connection can be the hardest part. Likewise most infections do not completely destroy a computer and affected individuals will often still need their internet access to find a solution.
Collective Defense: Applying Public Health Models to the Internet (PDF)
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