back to article Virgin Media to warn malware-infected customers

Virgin Media subscribers whose computers are part of a botnet can expect a letter warning them to tighten up their security, under a new initiative based on data collected by independent malware trackers. The UK's third-largest ISP will match lists of compromised IP addresses collected by the Shadowserver Foundation, among …

COMMENTS

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  1. Wize

    I've thought they should...

    ...direct all traffic from a known infected machine to a sand box that only serves out one web page that prompts the user to download some clean up software, and only unlocks them back on the big bad worlds after they run the software and prove they are clean.

    Even if they have more than one machine (eg a PS3 or an eggbox360) its all in lockdown till the spam node is taken down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There are issues with this.

      The least of which is the large increase in calls to the helldesk which will hinder those who do take security seriously from getting through with their support calls.

      There may also be legal issues since the customer is paying for access to the Internet, not to a single web page. This may result in those lusers who dont bother patching/installing anti-virus etc getting a refund of their charges. This does not apply to those who send spam (either intentionally or unintentionally) since this is against the terms and conditions.

      1. The Beer Monster
        Grenade

        "which will hinder those who do take security seriously,..."

        If you're clueful enough to take security seriously, then you shouldn't need to phone the helldesk unless someone with a JCB has dug through some cabling.

      2. Tigra 07
        Pint

        Let them complain...

        all they like for a refund, but they should have common courtesy to read the letter and clean up the computer instead.

        Options:

        1) send them a letter and give them limited internet use

        2) send another letter if nothing was done to resolve it

        3) Disconnect them completely to protect others from the spam and possible DOS attacks

      3. Wize

        @AC

        Yep, there will be confused users. Make the web page simple enough and they will know why thats the only page they can access.

        Stick on it a help phone number with a recorded message of how to fix things before they get to a human and job done. Users will most likely Google the number of their help desk when they need it so many won't know where to call anyway.

        Put in your T&Cs that they must not send spam, be involved in dental of service attacks, etc (which I expect they all have already) no refunds required.

        Will be a busy first week, but should sort out the majority within that first week.

        ISP will be happy too. Less noise on their limited bandwith.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    shadowserver

    @ We are comprised of volunteer security professionals from around the world.

    From their homepage.

    I dealt with these guys years ago, now I'm not saying they do not know what they are talking about but I am saying that one of their originating guys works at the cold meat counter in tescos and was a right stuck up going nowhere little toss pot. Security professional he was not.

    We met up with several of them on various IRC channels and they were a bunch of holier than thow juveniles, just not sure that Virgin Media really need to be dealing with people who are essentially kiddy hackers themselves.

    You can be a script kiddy botnet hoarder or you can be a script kiddie botnet infiltrator, it's much and such the same with a similar buzz but one set of guys gets to pretend he is a better skrippie. Ohh I dono where I am going here but needless to say I thought they were a bunch of wankers. Nuff said.

  3. Ian McNee
    Flame

    Holy Shit!

    How long have we been waiting for VM (and it's predecessors and other ISPs) to do this? And surprise-surprise it coincides with VM trying to extort another buck from it's customers - but that is just coincidence of course.

    Oddly enough as a VM customer I've not received any communication about the introduction of these letters. The only thing we ever get (e-mail or snail-mail) goes along the lines: "You're our customer and you're GREAT! We LOVE you! We at VM are GREAT too! And to show how much we LOVE you we want you to pay us more money for <insert pointless service here>!" *yawn*

    </cynicism>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Letter

      "Oddly enough as a VM customer I've not received any communication about the introduction of these letters"

      So you want them to send you a letter to tell you that they might send you a letter then?

  4. Efros

    Should disconnect

    They should disconnect them until the user has fixed the problem, certainly Time Warner in the US will disconnect machines infested with spam mailers.

    1. bluesxman
      FAIL

      RE: Should disconnect

      Didn't think that through, did you? How are they meant to download a fix without access the internet?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Once the infection is isolated

        they should open up the box and find the thing, then kick the shit out of it! When it is dead, take a pic of the carcass and snail mail it to VM.

        Just a thort.

      2. Efros

        Their Problem!

        and I thought it through.

  5. Eden
    Alert

    Nice idea a long time coming but...

    Whilst I've been thinking for a long time why no one bothers trying to contact the infected users when we can see the IP's of the zombies I quickly realised that:

    a) The people most likely to be infected will also not be using their ISP provided email account if they are even aware of it.

    b) If it does pick up, queue mass malware spam campaings purporting to be from Virgin about malware =p

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Alan B
    FAIL

    They must be joking!

    "The firm will also take the opportunity to plug its Digital Home Support service, a £6-per-month remote PC maintenance helpline, "for those who need a little bit more help". A quarter of callers have a malware infection, Virgin Media said."

    They can't even keep their email system running for a full week without it falling over, so there is no way in this world they should be trusted to help anyone to sort a computer out! And they have the cheek to ask for £6 a month? Hahahahaha.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    virgin media

    Virgin media should take care of providing a proper service first to its customers. In my experience Virgin Media is a proud contender to the "Worst ISP of the year" title.

    This is just part of a dirty marketing campaign: come to Virgin, you'll get a crap service, but we protect you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Can't agree...

      Been with VM for over 3 years now and in terms of service, they shit on BT an most of the rest of the competition. I can genuinely count the amount of downtime in those 3 years on one hand. Yes, their customer service can be shocking; it just depends which call centre you get connected too. Their retentions team are really good. My VM+ box was borked and they replaced it and upped my TV bundle to XL at no extra cost by way of an apology for the duration of my existing contract and the next one. The only real complaint I have is lack of IPv6 (faster if you can have it - fewer users) and lack of static IP, which may be deal breakers for some, but as everyone here knows, there are ways around the second one ;) .

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sudden outbreak of common sense

    This seems like a courteous, proportionate, useful response. I'm in shock.

    I've been wanting to dump BT for ages; possibly it's time to give Virgin a try.

  10. Andy Fletcher

    Great but....

    ...it shouldn't be down to the ISP. The UK government should have already cracked down on this and forced this kind of move. As has been said, these people need to be cut off from the web if they want ad hoc internet access. If they can't be bothered (and why should they) to administer their own machines they should just get access to arsebook & iplayer & maybe one or two other services. They probably don't actually use anything else anyway, and certainly shouldn't be transmitting card details via http.

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Nice, caring reply..

      You appear to be ignoring one massive problem.

      A lot of people have little or no knowledge of computer security. It's not so much that they can't be bothered to secure their computers, more that they don't know how to.

      It's that group of people VM appear to be trying to help. Calling them lazy isn't going to help.

  11. A J Stiles
    FAIL

    Hmm

    So now there's a new tactic to get malware onto PCs: pretend to be from an ISP threatening to cut you off unless you download our rescue package.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Stop

      Precisely what I thought...

      Dear Valued Customer,

      It has come to our attention that your home computer(s) has malware installed. To fix this, just visit:

      www.definitelynotsomedodgymalwaresite.ru

      etc...

      I for one, would never act on anything unrequested and unauthenticated that I receive through the post.

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Not new..

      This already happens.. I've had one of these calls (but pretending to be from Microsoft).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    What we really need is..

    ...a law to prevent stupid, lazy and complacent people from owning a computer in the first place.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but also.a law to prevent them

      driving. Voting. Having kids.

      Wasting oxygen....

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Joke

        @pogles

        "Yes, but also.a law to prevent them

        driving. Voting. Having kids.

        Wasting oxygen"

        Dear Mr Pogles.

        Have I got an ID Card scheme for you.

        J. Smith

        Former Home Secretary and MP (Ret).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      definitions of stupid vary though

      for example I think it's stupid to look down on other people and assume yourself to be more worthy based on yours and their relative accumulation of information in specific fields of knowledge.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the letter.

    "Dear Mr Spa Stick,

    It has come to our attention that you have been pwned (lol) by internet terrorists. Possibly acting on behalf of the cyber paedophile and drug smuggling group Anonymous, which we believe to be paid operatives of the Chinese government. As you may know, Anonymous has over 9000 hackers on steroids and are working round the clock to steal your internets.

    As a concerned third party, we at Virgin Media have put together a comprehensive security regime that has been independently verified by Gordon Brown himself (the man who invented the internet). Simply follow these three rules and you will be 100% secure:

    1. When you see a black cat, throw salt over your modem.

    2. Consider buying Windows 7 (again if you already have it).

    3. Reinstall your internets from the latest version of the AOL CD.

    If you follow these simple rules and still feel the urge to pay us an extra £6 a month, we offer a fantastic new service with trained call center operators in Bangladesh who can tell you how to use your start menu and many other exciting computer science topics.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Virgin Media"

  14. Adam 10
    Megaphone

    A legitimate use?

    Finally, a legitimate use for ISP snooping/sniffing? Couldn't they just block people from downloading the junk in the first place?

    I wonder if this came out of the same brainstorming session as the "I'm using private browsing to buy a present for my wife" Windows 7 advert...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Yeah I tried that...didn't work

      "Well dear I was looking for a present for you. You see the intricate stitching on this model's lace underwear?".

      *SMACK*

  15. muttley
    Happy

    Old news

    Years ago ntl were blocking compromised cable connections [PCs] and redirecting web page requests to an information and resource page.

    I found this out on a Monday morning, after a friend had left his laptop plugged into my router overnight on the Saturday...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Ah Vermin Media's Digital Home Support service.

    The same outfor who were promoted by POPUP ADVERTS (You know, just like frikkin' malware) served up by AVG (you know, a company supposed to be PROECTING YOU FROM FRIKKIN' MALWARE)

    Frikkin' retards.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    If VM would just.....

    fix the poxy mail service thats got *another* outage.

    Yes email, a nice simple, not complicated service but it's borked again...

    Stop trying to introduce new features until they have fully fixed the mess that the last "best thing since slied bread" that was the outsourcing of emai to Google has created.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I

      stopped using them for email five or six years ago largely because it was so chronically unreliable and they STILL haven't sorted it out???

  18. Pabs
    WTF?

    I'm a Happy VM Customer

    I've been with VM, ever since telewest. Although their Customer Service is lacking, severley, I've had very little problems with their ISP service. Although sending letters out to customers to tell them their PC is infected won't do that much, except extort money out of their custers

    1. Andy Livingstone

      Custers Last Stand?

      Letters.

  19. Miek
    Joke

    Fantastic

    "Dear Mr Spa Stick,

    It has come to our attention that you have been pwned (lol) by internet terrorists. Possibly acting on behalf of the cyber paedophile and drug smuggling group Anonymous, which we believe to be paid operatives of the Chinese government. As you may know, Anonymous has over 9000 hackers on steroids and are working round the clock to steal your internets.

    As a concerned third party, we at Virgin Media have put together a comprehensive security regime that has been independently verified by Gordon Brown himself (the man who invented the internet). Simply follow these three rules and you will be 100% secure:

    1. When you see a black cat, throw salt over your modem.

    2. Consider buying Windows 7 (again if you already have it).

    3. Reinstall your internets from the latest version of the AOL CD.

    If you follow these simple rules and still feel the urge to pay us an extra £6 a month, we offer a fantastic new service with trained call center operators in Bangladesh who can tell you how to use your start menu and many other exciting computer science topics.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Virgin Media"

    absolutely fantastic, although it did seem to be missing the usual "Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" tag-line at the start.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    An excuse for...

    Their spanking new DPI boxes that are being commissioned...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Big Brother

      AC@13:26

      What makes you think we *need* an excuse to install DPI?

      Signed

      The Government.

  21. Kevin7
    Go

    Long overdue

    This should have been done years ago and all major ISPs should do the same. I mean, you wouldn't have a comprimised PC on your network, would you?

  22. EvilGav 1

    Great . . .

    . . . and how, exactly, do they determine which machine thats connected to that connection *has* the infection ??

    Oh, thats right, home VM users don't get technical support if they connect more than one machine to the connection, therefore there can only be one machine attached, therefore there is only one place that needs fixed.

    Bloody glad I ditched this shower. As others have said, they cant keep their basic services running, why introduce more ??

  23. Reality Dysfunction
    FAIL

    virgin media AV software

    "Those with infected machines will be encouraged to download free security software to remove the malware and protect their connection in future. "

    yeah right thats why I've just spent 2 days stripping and rebuilding a laptop as the user decided to use Virgin "free" (to heavy subscribers) antimalware/security suite.

    Result: totally pwned laptop

    Anyone considering using virgins offering should just use nothing, you'll get the same peace of mind

    1. Sooty

      Not to mention

      That being told there was something wrong with their machines, and that downloading some free software would fix it, is probably what got them infected* with malware in the first place!

      *Cue someone physically mailing out loads of fake virgin letters, instructing people to go to a site and download something dodgy.

    2. Magnus_Pym

      Virgins Offerings?

      "Anyone considering using virgins offering should just use nothing, you'll get the same peace of mind"

      Is that just some general advise from a right wing Christian fundamentalist group to which you belong or perhaps some kind of ancient druidic ritual for the scurging of the unclean?

  24. Sergie Kaponitovicz
    Pint

    About Bloody Time!

    But this does not go far enough. The sending of spam is abuse of the service agreement, and it makes no difference if it's deliberate or down to having an infected PC, IMHO. The letter should demand remedial action within 7 days, or termination of account. To allow for holidays etc. such letters to be sent Recorded Delivery.

    As far as VM flogging additional services - why not? There is an identified need. Hands up the first ElReg reader who would refuse a £20 'drink' for fixing a problem.

  25. Tim #3
    FAIL

    Fail

    Although this initailly appears a very good thing, they have ruined that by bundling it up with a subscription service. any letter saying "we think your pc may be infected" and "for £6/month we can clean your pc" is just going to get binned by the vast majority of people.

  26. David 45

    Reasonable idea

    This sounds like a reasonable idea to me in theory, although the plug for their own Digital Home Support service could be construed as being a tad pushy. Anything that stems the deluge of spam from botnets is to be guardedly welcomed.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Virgin support

    Back in the days of Virgin.net, and with a 24x7 flat rate dial up service via Modem, I noticed something worrying. My Smoothwall firewall was reporting a huge number (100's per minute - remember it was dial up) of intrusion attempts on port 135.

    I sent Virgin Support a mail, pointing out that many of the addresses probing me were from within their own network, and I got a replay saying that it was a problem affecting all ISP's (it was MSblast in the wild at the time), and that they were taking the issue very seriously, suggesting that I install a software firewall (ignoring my statement that I was using a well regarded dedicated firewall).

    And that was it. Nothing else happened at all. Eventually, the frequency of the attack dropped to a more manageable level, but not due to any obvious action on their part.

    So I actually welcome people being warned that their systems may be compromised, although I do agree that in this day and age, a paper letter is probably too little, too late.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    I can't believe what I'm reading...

    Cue the down votes, but c'mon guys. The suggestions to cut somebody off from the internet because ONE machine on their network maybe infected (who decides this?) is bloody-well MANDELSON-esque. But in this case the affected party was ignorant/complacent rather than complicit.

    Anybody who suggest this has not thought it through. 1st there is the "how do you get a fix if you are disconnected" problem. 2nd there is the issue that an ISP can decide what does and does not constitute 'evidence of infection'. Anybody willing to take bets that the 'p2p' infection would soon be top of the list of network activity to remedy before connection is permitted?

    Are you all Peter Mandelson in disguise?

    I'm a security professional (yes really) and whilst we may want to do this at work with corporate LANs to suggest it for a paying internet subscriber is ridiculous. If VM can detect the traffic then they can block it. I applaud the notification that you may have an infected machine, and any assistance they could offer to naive users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Don't just cut them off from the internet...

      ...cut them off from an oxygen supply too.

      If someone not too clued-up on mechanical matters were driving a car with faulty brakes, your logic would seem to imply that they should be allowed to continue as they wouldn't be able to drive it to a service station otherwise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Not the bloody car analogy again!

        Dodgy computer is in most cases not life-threatening, is it? Car with borked brakes and dicky engine is life-threatening, it almost certainly will kill sooner or later. Malware is vbloody annoying and a license for PC World to print money, yes, but 99% of the time no one will die as a consequence of a little malware! ( PC World 250 sovs to run a cleanup on a PC! I'm in the wrong game! )

        Please get a sense of perspective!

        Some people, mainly the elderly are barely getting to grips with this tech, it moves to damn fast. They need some help and understanding first before we start snipping wires and telling dear old Granny to shove off 'cos she didn't understand WTF A/V stood for let alone what the hell it actually does for her!

        Wait until you hit 65-70 years old and the tech of the day is simply too much to keep up with anymore, 'cos the old noggin don't function as fast as used to when you were 25! My old man used to tack-sharp on electronics and tech when he was 35'ish, now he's hit 70, the memory is fading, the lack of use of the skills has slowed him a little, he's still pretty sharp but I still get the occasional call from him about what the VM DNS server IPs are or what the manual over DHCP settings should be on his kit.

  30. fenrir101
    Thumb Down

    Oh great

    I am a security professional, researching botnets and publishing papers on them is what I do. None of my machines are infected with bots and none of them are sending spam. But several of them occasionally do a very good impression of an infected machine so that I can gather information about new techniques and trends in the underground communities.

    I guess I will be spending a large amount of time talking to the VM help desk repeatedly explaining the difference between joining a botnet and being infected.

    And considering the fact that a large number of newer botnets use HTTP based command and control communications specifically to try to prevent people like myself from spying on them, how exactly are VM and the associated watchdog organisations going to filter out the botnets from legitimate traffic?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      of course

      this wouldn't be an issue at all for you, because you're obviously not silly enough to use a personal (ie for home use only) internet connection for commercial work :)

    2. Sergie Kaponitovicz
      FAIL

      So what's your complaint?

      You will get more invoiceable work, won't you?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Excellent Idea, May need some work on the execution though

    I think its a brilliant idea. Theres no guarantee that an up to date system with up to date malware protection is surefire protection. No antivirus or antimalware has a perfect 100% detection rate every time, so alerting users would be a great help. Plus a lot of less computer literate users (such as older people, i.e. over 30) might not realise their computer has a problem, which the letters from Virgin Media might help raise computer safety awareness, although ithey might want to send out the letters with the monthly bill, less chance of being binned.

    And with regards to cries for the disconnection of users, how are they going to clean up their system? By magic? And how would you work it with English and European law?

    1. Chemist

      Re : lot of less computer literate users (such as older people, i.e. over 30)

      I'm not surprised you're ANONYMOUS

      Cheeky s?d !

    2. hi_robb
      WTF?

      Over 30s??

      Over 30s, you cheeky little whippersnapper.

      Some of us over 30s were making pc's do things you can only dream about getting them to do, before you were even swimming out of your daddies nuts.

      And breathe,

      Rob

    3. Matthew Anderson

      Over 30's

      @Plus a lot of less computer literate users (such as older people, i.e. over 30)

      With that rather sweeping statement you just pissed off 95% of the ell reg readership. Well done, what are you, ten? Piss off back to Toy Story and GUIs. you:\del *.* Y/N - Confirm Y

      :-) <-- We created these you know. And the fucking box you typed that comment on. And the fucking site you read and the fucking device you read it on. You, my lil boyo, don't have a fucking clue. [-_-]

  32. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    It's been talked about for *years*

    People have said the ISP's *know* whose generating stupid amounts of traffic.

    So it looks like *finally* one of them in the UK has decided to stand out a bit from the crowd and *do* something about it.

    Plugging their service at the same time does seem pretty patronizing.

    But then again the *fact* you've been infected does not really say much for your sense of internet security, does it?

    Most of the UK's major ISP's seems to do a damm lot of traffic shaping/flow control etc already. It's about time uses got *some* benefit from all that unofficial snooping.

    Cautious thumbs up *provided* they don't get a load of stupid *false* positives.

  33. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    I wonder if

    they can scan linux boxes

    Or even be aware linux exists

    <me> ma internets dont work

    <helldesk> reboot windows

    <me> I'm running 2 linux pcs behind a router

    <helldesk> We dont support linux

    <me> ok I'll reboot them into windows

    <pause.......>

    <me> ma internets dont work

    <helldesk> reboot windows

    <me> I just have you (^%%ing idiot

    <helldesk> are you behind a router?

    <me> yes

    <helldesk> reboot that

    <Me> done..... ma internets dont work

    <helldesk> reboot settop box

    <long pause>

    <me> done.... ma internets dont work

    <helldesk> I cant help you...passing you over to our faults dept.

    <even longer pause>

    <2nd helldesk> Sorry but our network has a fault.... please bear with us as we try to fix it

    <me> arrrrrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh... why could'nt you say that in the first place and saved me about 30 minutes of wasted time?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Fix your mail service first!

    I guess VM are sending letters because they cannot rely on their poxy mail service to do the same. Intermittent fault 6.0am this morning and still getting error connecting with SSL messages now!

    Get your own house in order, then worry about your customer botnets.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    all i can say is

    about ...... bloody .......time!

    ALL ISPs should have a duty to keep the internet as clean as they can - and being a nice neighbour on the net is part of that. they should spend some time/effort/costs to ensure that they are not harbingers of infected systems. just like they should stop systems on their network being SPAM bots or from SSH or port-scanning systems

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Metronet, where are you (and your software) when the world needs you?

    Small but perfectly formed pioneering UK PAYG ISP Metronet used to do most of the good stuff being suggested here, till a bigger ISP bought them out and (presumably) abandoned the Metronet-unique stuff.

    They had ISP-level detection of the signatures of common malware, and a "walled garden" until it was fixed (can't remember the exact details, who cares).

    They also had an ISP-based firewall which punters could enable or not as required, and once enabled they could configure it as required. IIRC it had simple mode (pick from "no ports open", "block privileged ports", "commonly abused ports blocked", "all ports open") and geek mode ( a list). In fact the details are still at

    http://www.metronet.co.uk/support/security/firewall.shtml

    IIRC the firewall was part of the same system which also provided an optional ISP-based proxy which also served as a configurable content filter (adult or not, etc) and configurable ad blocker.

    All based on COTS hardware and free software too, iirc. Not a Juniper or Redback or Cisco etc to be seen. Fabulous.

    "Keep your computer safe and secure with Metonet's built-in firewall system" (sic)

    Tryping wasn't always their strongest point, but who cared anyway.

    Not an employee or associate, but a very happy customer at the time. Let's raise a glass or five to the memory of Metronet, and question why the big boys can't be 1% as creative and instead choose to bring us dross like Phorm (have they burnt all of their most recent finance round yet?)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Good move

    The main thing is indeed to alert the user to the infection. Just blocking, for example, outgoing port 25, although possibly necessary is (a) inconvenient for the user, who is unlikely to know what the submission port is; (b) simply doesn't deal with the basic infection, which could also be carrying out all kinds of attacks via DNS or port 80. I find many Oxbridge-educated people, young and old, still running Windows XP SP1 or similar without having kept patches and antivirus updated, and they just need some reliable information.

    I work for a small email provider, and am planning to do something simpler in a cheaper way. Check static IP addresses that authenticate with our mail servers against Project HoneyPot, CBL and maybe some other lists like Barracuda or PSBL and email the user up to weekly. I guess I should publish the script to do this to encourage others. There's no privacy issue so far as I can see.

  38. rcdicky
    Go

    Mmmmk...

    So people think this is a good idea but the £6 a month offering is a bit pushy??

    I know a fair few people that, if I wasn't there to help them their PCs would be in a right mess.

    If they received a letter from VM telling them to download AV/Firewall etc, they wouldn't have a clue what to do.

    I think £6 a month is slightly steep, but the service will be useful for a lot of people.

    If all ISPs jump on this wagon, it could make a hell of a difference. Should have been done a looong time ago.

    As for VMs service, I'm with the "they're great crowd" as you can probs tell. But that's because I've been with them over 3 years now and only had my Internet go down twice. Once for about an hour and the other less that 10mins, which ain't bad.

    1. The Beer Monster
      Pint

      £6 a month is steep?

      I've spent the best part of 30 hours this month sorting out various virus ridden PCs.

      For this they get charged the price of a slab of beer a time (about £12-£18 a time, depending on supermarket offers) for which they think they've got a bargain.

      Admittedly they're probably getting a better level of expertise and I've never had to go back to a PC yet, but £6 a month is probably the cheapest some people are going to get.

  39. Richard Hodgson

    Used to do something similar...

    ...at the first ISP I worked at; if we got a lot of spam reports regarding a particular user, we'd restrict them and send them an email explaining how to clean a machine.

    Better than having a zombie sending out thousands of emails a day!

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