Fighting the Bots

October 12, 2009 8:28:04 AM PDT
It's an effort to fight the widespread infection of computers by the nation's largest provider of high-speed Internet to homes. But some critics say the attempt by Comcast may be causing more trouble than it prevents. Comcast is testing a service in Denver in which it sends customers a pop-up message if their computers seem to have been taken over by a botnet.

The message directs users to a Comcast site that has tips for cleaning infected computers. Some worry that Comcast's program may get people to begin to trust and respond to pop-up ads - the problem there is that such ads are often a means of delivering the kind of viruses that can get a computer caught up in a botnet.

Comcast says its ads are backed up with an e-mail message to confirm that the pop-up is legit. But an official at one network security firm says hackers could mimic the pop-up ads, too.

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