FTC Joins Effort to Help Shut Down Hijacked Computers Used to Send Spam
WASHINGTON - The Federal Trade Commission and 35 other government agencies from more than 20 countries have launched "Operation Spam Zombies." The global effort centers on asking the more than 3,000 Internet service providers around the world to deploy measures that would prevent their customers' computers from being hijacked and used by spammers. According to the FTC, those measures include: * Blocking when possible a common Internet port (port 25) used for e-mail. * Applying rate-limiting controls for e-mail relays. * Identifying computers that are sending atypical amounts of e-mail and taking steps to determine if the computer is acting as a spam zombie. When necessary, quarantine the affected computer until the source of the problem is removed. * Providing plain-language information for customers on how to keep their home computers secure. * Providing or pointing their customers to easy-to-use tools to remove zombie code if their computers become infected. The next phase is to identify likely spam zombies around the world and their ISP hosts, so they can be urged to take corrective measures, including quarantining the computer until it's fixed. The FTC has a Web page for the project at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/spam/zombie/index.htm. "Operation Spam Zombies" is a partnership of the FTC, Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security and 33 different agencies from Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.