Australian Internet Security Initiative portal launched to help ISPs

ISPs can use portal to identity which of their customers’ devices have been affected by malware

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has developed an Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) portal so that Internet service providers (ISPs) can identity which of their customers’ devices have been infected with malware.

Approximately 70,000 observations of malware are being received and processed daily. This information is accessed by 139 Australian ISPs, schools and universities who have signed up to AISI. Zero access, Zeus and Conficker malware are the most common types of malware targeting Australian users.

According to ACMA research, half of all Australian households have networks with more than five devices connected to the Internet. This includes PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones and – in some cases – smart TVs and wearables.

Meanwhile, 56 per cent of small businesses and 74 per cent of medium sized businesses have their own network connected to the Internet.

According to ACMA's Internet security programs manager, Julia Cornwell McKean, the AISI portal recognises multiple devices connected to local networks.

“The portal provides ISPs with detailed information about a [malware] infection that can determine the problem device within a home or business network,” she said.

“ISPs have told us that residential customers and SMBs are most susceptible to Internet security risks. As a consequence, the same users had a greater need for assistance to resolve compromises. All too often, users thought that Internet security was `set and forget’ using out of date antivirus and malware protection that they had received for free when they purchased their device.”

ISPs also told ACMA that some users took no steps at all to protect their device.

In October 2013, a report into malware by ACMA found that 10 per cent of Australians who access the Internet at home don’t use any security software.

The report, Malware and harmful software—Consumer views on software threats and use of protections, was based on a phone survey conducted with 1,500 Australians and four focus group discussions.

It also found that 8 per cent of Australians do not regularly update their security software while almost half of those surveyed did not believe they would be a victim of a malware attack.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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Tags malwareACMAAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)Internet Service Providers (ISP)Australian Internet Security Initiative

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