North American Network Operators Group

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Re: FBI tells the public to call their ISP for help

  • From: John Levine
  • Date: Wed Jun 13 23:29:55 2007

>The fine people at the FBI are recommending people call their ISP for 
>home computer technical support, even though most ISPs don't sell 
>home computers, operating system software or application software.

No, the ISPs merely sell the channel through which the home computers
get infected with worms and viruses, and through which the home
computers vomit the reults of those infections.

The biggest reason that we are making no progress against zombies is
that everyone wants them to be someone else's problem.  I entirely
agree that the prime responsibility lies with the computer vendors and
particularly with operating system vendors, such as one near Seattle,
that year after year ship easily compromised software.  Whenever
someone tries to ask me a Windows question, I tell them to call
Microsoft and demand they support the software they sell.

But ISPs are not wholly without responsibility.  If one of your
customers reloaded Windows from CD and then needed to download all of
the patches, do you provide a way for them to do it without getting
re-wormed before the download is done?