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IIA Issues New Code for Australian ISPs to Fight Zombies

In a bid to tackle zombie attacks more efficiently and improve the Internet safety standards throughout Australia, the Internet Industry Association (IIA) has recently issued a fresh voluntary code of practice for the Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Zombies, as per the security experts, are the malware-infected PCs that are used to distribute spam, carry out denial of service attacks or spread malware.

Security experts believe that the code will assist in dealing with the mounting problem of zombie in Australia. According to the security firm McAfee, only the United States and China were ahead of Australia in terms of the number of zombies controlled by spammers in 2009.

The security firm estimates that Australia possesses 6.3% of new zombies worldwide as compared to 18% and 13.3% contributions from the United States and China respectively. It was just few years back (in 2007) when Australia was nowhere among the top 10 nations listed by McAfee in its Global Threats Report.

According to another security firm Sophos, there were around 80,000 active zombies in Australia as of October 2009.

Security experts are viewing this as a serious problem and have said that although zombies are typically described as malware that facilitate cyber criminals to issue malicious commands to computers, criminals are not required to connect in to the PC in this kind of remote control.

Majority of zombies work by establishing link out from the computer in order to download instructions regarding the further line-of-attack. A firewall that simply blocks inward connections cannot prevent data leaking from a connection that initiates from within.

Therefore, to mitigate the risk, Peter Coroneos, chief executive, IIA, said both users and ISPs should share the responsibility for fighting with zombie problem, reported Good Gear Guide on June 7, 2010.

The new code also emphasizes on the same point that ISPs and users should work jointly to detect and reduce online threats. Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy highlighted that it's important for Australians to learn the secure and confident use of Internet, as per the news published by Good Gear Guide on June 7, 2010.

It should be noted that the code will be voluntary for ISPs to adopt. Moreover, the code is to be implemented by them before December 2010.

Related article: IE & Gmail Show Up with Alarming Vulnerabilities

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