The Australian internet security initiative—provider responses to security-compromised computers

30 Sep 2012

This report looks into online security, in terms of public and private sectors and where new regulations need to be introduced.
The Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) is administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to assist AISI participants address the problem of computers that are ‘compromised’ by malware (or malicious software). Malware infections enable computers to be controlled remotely for illegal or harmful purposes without the computer users’ knowledge. While malware compromises may not be recognised by affected computer users, possible repercussions for internet users include the mass distribution of spam, hosting of phishing sites or identity theft.
When this research was undertaken there were 123 AISI participants who received ‘daily’ reports of compromises that were detected on internet protocol (IP) addresses on their networks. These reports help participants identify customers who may have a computer that is compromised by malware. Participants who receive these reports are encouraged to inform their customers about compromised computers and assist them to resolve the problem. AISI participants also receive weekly ‘repeated sightings’ reports that identify re-occurring compromises. The research was conducted to understand the views of AISI participants about the operation of the AISI and how it might be improved.
Twenty-four participants were interviewed by telephone between December 2011 and February 2012 by ACMA staff.

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