The question has been raised should infected computers be blocked from accessing the internet. The growth of computer viruses continues and to improve internet security for all Microsoft have suggested putting computers in quarantine until the virus has been removed.
The proposal recommends computers with a virus have their internet access stopped to prevent further infection. The computer’s access would not be reinstated until a clean bill of health was given. The idea has come from the health sector and mirrors the process of isolating an individual so not to put other people’s health at risk.
Although this system initially sounds like a good solution there is still the question of who would monitor and approve the health of a computer.
Millions of PCs around the world are infected with a computer virus without their owner even knowing. These infected computers are sometimes organised into a botnet which can then be hired out to cyber criminals. The criminals can use these botnets to broadcast masses of spam emails and perform website attacks further spreading the virus.
As well as who would police the solution there is another issue. If you take away internet access from an infected computer it makes it impossible for the computer to then download the relevant antivirus software or security patch to fix the problem. Suggestions to overcome this would be to allow infected PCs limited access although this would have to be granted by individual ISPs.
Monitoring a system like this could be extremely difficult. Kaspersky reports the volume of new viruses they see generated daily is around 30,000. Most people do try to keep their computer safe by using antivirus software but the cyber criminals always appear to be a step ahead. A system like this would definitely help to protect people from computer viruses but who would have the final say whether to block someone’s internet access and would it be legal?
Microsoft are keen to show the world they take virus protection and internet security seriously as the Microsoft operating system is the most prone to security threats. As the threats continue to rise more people will consider using Linux or opting for the more expensive Apple Mac. This is not the first time a system like this has been suggested so we will have to wait and see whether any action will be taken.