Westnet trials Web malware protection

Perth-based Internet provider Westnet is testing a system that sees customers redirected if they attempt to access Web sites known to automatically spread malware.Dubbed "Web Protection", the service will redirect customers to Westnet's own site, which will explain why the original page was inaccessible.

Perth-based Internet provider Westnet is testing a system that sees customers redirected if they attempt to access Web sites known to automatically spread malware.

Dubbed "Web Protection", the service will redirect customers to Westnet's own site, which will explain why the original page was inaccessible. The list of dodgy Web sites will come from sources in the security community, Westnet product development manager Chris Thomas told ZDNet Australia&nbsp.

One dangerous domain Westnet cited is a misspelling of popular search engine Google, which tries to install more than 25 types of malware on users' machines when they accidentally access it.

Thomas said there were no plans to charge for the product, and customers would need to opt-in to take advantage of it. While customers could not -- for whatever reason -- bypass the system to go to a blacklisted site, Thomas said his company was seeking feedback from customers about sites to add or remove from the list.

While Westnet has a reputation for providing good customer service, Thomas noted part of the business case for the product was about keeping costs low.

"We're trying to reduce the amount of tech support load, obviously," he said. "Spyware for us is a massive tech support load, it takes a lot of time for each call and there's a hell of a lot of calls that come in on it, so there's some selfish reasons for getting it up there as well."

"Rather than throwing more people at answering phones we're looking at reducing the levels of support that people require."

The manager said Web Protection is currently being trialled by a number of volunteer customers, with the aim of making sure it's ready for market.

"At the moment it's a product that's probably a little rough," said Thomas. "It's not as elegant as you'd like a full-blown commercial product to be, but we don't really need it to be all that elegant."

"So it's probably ready to release any day now, but we're sitting back and taking all the feedback and seeing whether there's any changes we need to make," he said.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All