Aussies start purge of antipodean zombies


A new campaign to drive zombie computers off the internet has been launched by the Australian government.

The three month trial, called the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI), was kicked off on Monday by the minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) developed and will host the program.

The campaign will attempt to identify Australian-based PCs that have been compromised and then alert users who will then be advised on how to fix the problem.

Under the program, ACMA will work closely with five Australian ISPs, Telstra Bigpond, OptusNet, Pacific Internet, Westnet and West Australian Networks. ACMA will monitor botnets, looking for Australian IP addresses. When a zombie computer is found this information is passed on to the ISP who in turn will get in touch with its users to help eradicate the problem.

"If the owner either cannot or will not fix the problem and their computer remains a threat to other internet users, the ISPs may take steps under their acceptable use policy to disconnect the computer until the problem is resolved," according to a statement from ACMA.

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