Germany to set up centre to coordinate fight against botnets

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Germany to set up centre to coordinate fight against botnets

8 December 2009

In 2010 the German government is planning to pick up the fight against infected home computers. In the first half of next year it plans to set up an advisory centre which will help users purge their computers of viruses and bots. The idea, jointly developed by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the Association of the German Internet Industry (eco), is based on the premise that internet service providers (ISPs) have long had the technical capability to identify infected computers by analyzing network traffic. The project was officially announced by BSI and eco at today’s fourth national IT summit in Stuttgart.

According to the plan, ISPs will contact customers whose PCs are infected with a bot, possibly by post or by telephone. The plan also contemplates having infected computers automatically connect to a special web page each time they connect to the internet. Before the plans are implemented, however, a decision needs to be made on what sanctions customers who decline to cooperate with their ISP can be subjected to. According to an eco project manager, quoted by the dpa, "Anyone surfing without proper anti-virus software is endangering other web users, in the same way that a car driver driving with faulty brakes is endangering other road users."

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