US ISP provider Comcast warns customers of virus infections
As several US internet providers like Qwest have offered an automated monitoring feature to protect their customers for about two years, Comcast has now followed suit and introduced its "Constant Guard" service. The service monitors the activities of the provider's estimated 15 million customers and can, for instance, detect whether an IP address creates unusual traffic volumes over night, which points towards a virus infection. Constant Guard displays a browser window to warn users that their computers might be infected.
In principle, Comcast's monitoring method can also be used for monitoring a user's activities. To detect anomalies, the provider has to at least temporarily store and evaluate large amounts of data. A European ISP wanting to use such a system would have to examine very carefully whether it creates any data protection issues.
Affected customers are offered a service portal where they can find help with removing the bots and viruses. For instance, users can install a free tool bar or a complete security package that detects and removes spyware as well as offers a pop-up blocker and anti-phishing software.
- Comcast Unveils Comprehensive “Constant Guard” Internet Security Program, press release from Comcast.