06 Dec 2011

Expert: Ban infected computers to stop botnets

While it may be far-fetched, one writer said a simple way to stop the need for equipping antivirus software and internet security would be banning infected PCs from the internet until they are fixed. Steve Ranger of Silicon.com said botnets put computers at risk, and once they are diagnosed as infected, steps should be taken to keep them off of the internet.

"The time has come to ignore the howls of protest, the cries of 'I didn't know!' and 'It wasn't me!' and to decide that if a PC is infected with viruses or has become part of a botnet, it should no longer be allowed access to the internet," Ranger said. "Consumers need to take responsibility for their security online, and those that fail to do so, for whatever reason, must accept there are consequences."

Ranger said ISPs can easily see which computers are a part of botnets or have viruses, so they can warn users that they have a virus drawing them into a botnet or a network of infected computers used to attack other computers.

Dutch researchers from the Delft University of Technology recently released a study that said 6 percent of the United Kingdom's computers are enrolled in botnets, according to the BBC. Globally, the report said 5 to 10 percent of computers are unknowingly in a botnet.