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Attack of the Zombie Computers

Techstination feature for Wednesday, November 2, 2005

The attack of the zombie computers. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission have issued a new warning to users of high speed Internet connections….that their computers could be turned into what they call zombies. Aaron Kornblum is Microsoft's Internet safety enforcement attorney…

"Zombie computers are computers that have been infected with some sort of malicious code that enables someone to remotely control your computer. You might not even be aware that someone has taken control of your computer to use it to commit all sorts of cyber crimes, including spam, perhaps lauching a denial of service attack or do other things."

It may not be easy to tell if your computer has been hijacked. Using a firewall and security software can help. And, says Kornblum…

"You can check for free at and learn if your computer does have malicious code on it and learn how to get that code removed. Zombie computers have become an increasing challenge on the Internet. They're now being used to send more than half of all spam that's being transmitted illegally to end users. And that's a growing concern and one that has caused us to partner with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Action, to alert consumers to this growing danger of zombie computers and help them learn what they can do to help stop zombies."

While it can be inconvenient…a step as simple as turning your computer off when you aren't using it…can also help. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.