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Customers squeezed as ISPs pull trigger on viruses

Last modified: March 17, 2004, 11:28 AM PST
By Jim Hu
Staff Writer, CNET

High-speed Internet service providers are increasingly putting their customers in the security hot seat, as they try to fight recent virus attacks that turn computers into spam factories.

Broadband companies have said they routinely monitor customer accounts for signs of abuse and take action when it's appropriate. Although such policies have been in place for years, they're now being invoked more than ever, thanks to the spread of viruses that allow spammers to spew out millions of junk e-mail messages under the noses of victims.

The virulence of these virus attacks has sparked a fierce debate over countermeasures, security experts said. The problem has become so bad that broadband companies are considering whether it's time to substantially beef up policing on their networks--something they've avoided in the past because of the cost and potential privacy concerns involved.


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