Germany to launch antibotnet program for consumers

People can get support from both a Web site and a call center if the problem is bad enough

Germany will soon launch a service to help consumers remove malicious software from their computers in an attempt to stem the spread of spam-sending botnets.

The German Anti-Botnet Initiative, which has a budget of €2 million (US$2.7 million), is being funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Technical support will come from the Federal Office for Information Security, known as BSI, and additional help from the Association of the German Internet Industry (Eco).

The initiative will launch on Sept. 15 at the 8th annual German Anti-spam Conference in Wiesbaden.

"The main goal is to remove Germany from the top 10 ranking of countries from which botnet activities originate," according to a document about the initiative published on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Web site.

Botnets are networks of infected computers that can be used by hackers to send spam, conduct distributed denial-of-service attacks and steal data. The networks have proven to be very robust, employing advanced technical means to keep them active despite attempts to shut them down.

ISPs around the world are experimenting with ways to deal with botnets and use automated systems to notify customers and block their Internet access until their computer is fixed. It is a burden for ISPs to deal with abuse complaints from other network providers, and automation can reduce the amount of manual work technicians must do.

Under the German plan, ISPs will identify computers on their networks that are infected and notify those customers by e-mail, phone, letter or text message.

They will then be directed to a central Web site that offers instructions and tools to clean their computers. If that doesn't work, their ISP will provide them with a trouble ticket that can be used to get help over the phone. The service is free, and users would only be charged the cost of a local call.

At least five ISPs have said they will participate. The help desk is scheduled to run at least a year after which Eco will "secure the continuation of the project to meet demands for another year," according to the paper. If the help desk is discontinued, the web site with instructions and tools will still be in service, it said.

"This is supposed to pull the rug underneath the feet of the botnets acting in or from Germany," said Katrin Mallener, Eco's spokeswoman.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malwareantivirusDesktop securityAssociation of the German Internet Industry

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?